Greetings, P&D readers!
As we come to the end of September, the nights are getting colder. Having sufficient shelter to house our neighbors is of utmost importance. While construction on our basement has not yet begun, the back-end work is almost complete. We are finalizing blueprints and working with contractors to get everything in place. It is still our hope that we can be fully operational in the basement come January 2021.
Aside from the construction itself, we are developing policies and procedures for basement operations. A quick snapshot for you: all single adults will reside in the basement. There will be two large rooms with six bunk beds in each room (12 people per wing, 24 people total). One wing will be for men, the other for women. In order to ensure the safety of all clients, we plan to employ an overnight staff member to be present in case any issues arise. Ideally, we would employ an overnight staff Monday through Friday, but Saturday and Sunday would be covered by volunteers. We will be reaching out to the community to begin recruiting volunteers for this position at a later date.
Another factor to consider is expanding our food program to be able to serve more residents. Our kitchen has proved to be sufficient for our residents to this point. However, at max capacity we have had about 48 people in shelter (between 11 rooms). Our basement expansion will allow a total of 96 people to stay at Pathways, which is doubling capacity. We are concerned that our kitchen will not be sufficient for that many people. For this reason, we are looking at possibilities of gaining volunteers to develop sack lunches for our guests in the basement, rather than giving them access to the kitchen.
Lastly, using the basement as shelter means we can no longer use the space for donated household items. As you may be aware, we have off-site storage for larger furniture items. We pay $25 per month for a large basement room in a downtown building. We are going to have to create a program for accepting donations where volunteers are present on certain days of the week to receive furniture and donations at a designated location (which means no more donations of household items right to Pathways). We are searching for another storage location at this time. Preferably, the location has running water and bathroom facilities, as well as a loading dock for furniture. This may be a tall order, but if anyone happens to know of any possible locations that fit this description, please let me know!
As always, we appreciate our community’s support. We are going to need your continued support when we expand and operate at a higher capacity. We will also need to purchase new furniture for the basement rooms (bunk beds/lockers). Christ the King Lutheran Church made a generous donation of $3,500 towards these purchases; we thank them for their support!
I hope to have more concrete information on the basement expansion next month. Until then, stay safe, stay healthy and consider how you can help your community!
• Emergency Shelter
Forty-two unduplicated people received shelter in August for a total of 842 shelter nights. The 42 people broke down to nine individual men, eight individual women and eight families with 13 children.
Eight clients successfully completed our program and moved into stable housing. 9 clients were removed due to rule violation. There were 25 clients carried over into September.
Our waiting list sits at 27 people: 11 individual men, 2 individual women, and 5 families with 6 children.
• Homeless Prevention
Seven households (5F, 4M, 14C) began Homeless Prevention enrollments in August after receiving eviction notices. HP Services totaled $9,337. Enrollments for three households ended in August (one for noncompliance, one for occupancy change and one reached max-time).
• Rapid Rehousing
Three households (1F, 3M) began Rapid Rehousing enrollments in August. RH services totaled $2,722. One household completed their program in August.
• Security Deposit Assistance Program
Three households (1F, 2M, 2C) received deposits totaling $885. All households were literally homeless and entered into housing that was either income-based apartments or with RH support.
• Cause of Homelessness
This month’s cause of homelessness is about a single mother with three children, we’ll call her Kim.
Kim was employed as a manager at a local eating establishment. She was also pregnant with her fourth child. After developing pregnancy complications, she sadly lost her 20-week old unborn child. After the loss, Kim began having stomach issues, which ultimately required surgery. With the health issues and surgery, Kim was unable to work, which led to the inability to pay rent.
After a few weeks on the waiting list, Kim and her children moved into Pathways. She has physically recovered from the surgery, is working again and is searching for housing.
• Current Needs
While we are encouraging physical distancing, we do still have projects available for one person which will involve zero contact with anyone else. Projects include some basic construction, organizing donations, and assistance with organizing our furniture storage. If you have an interest in helping, especially if you have some extra time, please reach out to Jesse at email@example.com, or call 605-665-8994.
If you are interested in donating supplies, please find our updated list at www.yanktonpathways.org/give.
Pathways Shelter for the Homeless serves the immediate needs of individuals and families experiencing homelessness within the Yankton area, while engaging partners in developing long-term solutions. The shelter was founded on the belief that everyone deserves a home.