Hospitality House Family Shelter is an extended-stay facility for up to 23 individuals at a time; very often about half of the residents are children of school age or younger. Hospitality House residents (who represent only 5-10% of our active client caseload), are engaged in the full spectrum of our programs. An average stay can last 6-9 months, though no rigid time constraints are placed on the individuals we work with.
In 2017 we delivered 5817 bed nights of shelter at Hospitality House Family Shelter and another 298 bed nights of shelter at temporary outsourced locations.
Related: TINY HOMES FOR HOPE 2017 GALLERY
To address the needs of one of the fastest growing segments of the homeless population — unaccompanied adolescents and teens — in 2017 we opened The Landing Place, a comprehensive youth program for “high-risk” teens. The current unrestricted funding structure for this program allows us to offer teens highly relational programming nuanced to their cultural identities, needs and interests and adaptive to change as required. It also affords us the liberty to investigate new concepts and models of care that will be germane to this specific age group. The landing place drop-in center offers hot meals, supplies, school & community outreach, transportation by a dedicated van, case management, access to cultural opportunities and support for the whole family.
It’s a pretty cool place. I can hang out with my friends. Eat some food. Play a game or do some kind of fun art activity . . . sometimes I even help make the smoothies . . . and I actually even helped cook dinner one time . . . but then sometimes I just like to chill out and relax for a little while. I don’t know. I just feel like I can be myself here.
— 10-year-old participant at The Landing Place
Comprehensive Case Management
A relational team of professional, experienced case managers, in concert with our mental health specialist assist homeless individuals and families through the development of a fully integrated, inclusive plan of care, specific to each client’s needs, and abilities. Following an extensive client intake and psycho-social assessment, the care plan guides our clients in evaluating and addressing their most urgent needs on an economic, physical, emotional and psychological level. They may include: shelter and housing, food, clothing and hygiene, childcare, physical and mental healthcare, transportation, education, job-skills training, financial literacy and life-skills learning.
Our team is committed to a relational practice. While each member works diligently to understand their clients, discovering interpersonal strengths and needs, to provide holistic support and create sustainable outcomes of progress we also work together as a team to brainstorm resources, build connections with local agencies, and provide access to support for as many community members in need, as possible. While housing is often the top external priority, sustainability and positive growth remain common goals within every approach to care.
—Molly Feeney, Case Management Coordinator
More than 50% of the people we served in 2017 are homeless because of the crisis-level lack of affordable housing in this area.
After a client is housed, we remain fully engaged in their lives through our Aftercare program, which affords on-going case manger support without time constraints. This continued guidance is vital because though clients are no longer homeless, they may not yet have the abilities or resources necessary to ensure self-sufficiency for the long term. Once stable and no longer in a crisis mode, they become more receptive to addressing underlying issues and obtaining the education or skills needed. Case managers remain actively involved in their clients’ lives, monitoring their care plan to ensure that key objectives are attained, or if necessary, redefined. A client “graduates” only when they and their case manager agree that they ave the necessary skills and resources to maintain their independence long term.
Aftercare is a critical component to the 90-95% success rate of sustainability for our clients!
With extremely limited public transportation available in the Mid-Coast, many of our clients traditionally have been unable to access critical services and resources essential to their success. Our dedicated van shuttles clients to their jobs or employment interviews, childcare facilities, education, and healthcare and service providers. About 72% of the adults we serve do not have access to a reliable vehicle. We put about 1500-2000 miles a month on the van which was graciously donate through a program with Darlings Auto Group. In 2017 private donors added a van to our youth program to allow us to offer young people the opportunity to participate in cultural and social field trips they otherwise wouldn’t have been able to access as well as drive them home after our warm suppers at the Teen Center. Also in 2017, through another private donor we added a Ford Focus to our transportation lineup allowing the ability to book more than one transport at any particular time, and utilize the more fuel-efficient vehicle when fewer clients were needed to be transported at any one time.
Welcome Center, Food, and In-Kind Donations
Opened in 2017, our Welcome Center allows us to quickly extend care, services, and resources to the homeless in crisis. WE also provide food, clothing and general household goods, and offer shower and laundry facilities.
From children’s clothing to career wear, toasters to tents, and everything in between, we work hard to put donations of lightly used items to good use. Clients of ours can “shop” for the items they need. We can often help a family set up their first apartment or home, and help a mom or dad keep ahead of growing kids. Thanks to the outpouring of generosity from the community, we are also able to offer some of the items we have to other partner organizations in the area such as AIO Food Pantry, their Back Pack Program, New Hope for Women and the Warren Food Pantry. Drop off hours are Monday & Friday from 10:00 a.m. to noon, and Wednesday 2:30-5:00 p.m. or by appointment. For furniture donations, please call ahead as we do not have a lot of storage space but can often connect directly with someone who has a need.
Our supplemental nutrition program seeks to address the food insecurity issues of the individuals we work with. Partnering withe local food stores to utilize fresh rescue as well as state-wide partner Good Shepherd Food Bank and the USDA we were able to deliver nearly 54,000 meals last year and served another nearly 6000 hot meals between our family shelter and our youth program.
Our mission at Knox County Homeless Coalition is to be the center of excellence in breaking cycles of poverty and homelessness in mid-coast Maine, offering a comprehensive approach to helping vulnerable people build productive and self-sustaining lives by providing intensive wraparound client care as well as shelter when possible. Everything we do is delivered with respect, dignity and genuine caring, delivering on our promise of home, help, and hope.
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