While the Haven Ministries Shelter opened on December 1 at Kent Island United Methodist Church in Stevensville, the organization is going beyond the church’s doors to identify persons who may be homeless and need to be connected to supportive services, especially during the bitter months of winter. As soon as individuals are identified in the community as possibly being homeless, Haven Ministries’ Street Outreach Program reaches out to find assistance that day to be sure the individual does not spend another night on the street.
According to Sandi Wiscott, Director of Operations and Case Management at Haven Ministries, a number of calls this season have been from women and children who are “house surfing” without a permanent address. She states, “It’s hard for them to ask for help. They need jobs and daycare – it’s more than just housing. Often, the fight has gone out of them.”
Haven Ministries works to get people connected to food, employment, housing, driver’s licenses, and medical insurance coverage. Each client at Haven Ministries’ Seasonal Shelter gets individual counseling and assistance every day, as well as transportation assistance. In the Street Outreach Program, staff follows up by phone and/or in person with people to be sure they are making progress.
Caroline Aland of Stevensville, President of Haven Ministries Board of Directors wants local Queen Anne’s County residents to know that although the shelter is open in cold weather months, the organization is always identifying and working with local residents through the Street Outreach Program. She adds, “In addition, new this year is our Resource Center at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Centreville, which offers services five days a week to the general public.”
The new Center offers educational programming and job training for clients who need this assistance. Case management services at the Center Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. to enable individuals who may not be homeless to connect to services and avoid becoming homeless. Since opening on November 15, 2016, the Center has helped over 20 people with services. Wiscott adds, “It’s been well received for case management services for people from all over Queen Anne’s County.”
Haven Ministries staff want people to know that they are in their corner to help them, working hard to connect each client to jobs and community programs. Transportation is an important component in helping Haven Ministries’ clients to move forward in their lives. It enables them to get to doctor appointments, to attend school, and to gain employment.
Wiscott comments, “We chip away at the mountain facing them so that they don’t give up.”
Haven Ministries offers a 24-hour a day program, except for weekends when its Resource Center is closed. In addition to its seasonal shelter and Resource Center, the organization operates a Thrift Store, Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and a Food Pantry on the third Friday of every month.
For further information or to become a Friend of Haven Ministries, visit haven-ministries.org or call 410-739-4363.