For two winter seasons, our community came together and joined United Way and West Central MN Communities Action (WCMCA) to provide shelter, food and hope for individuals faced with homelessness during the cold winter months through Hope Haven. Individuals were no longer faced with the reality of staying in dangerous situations, sleeping in their car or outdoors during harsh winter nights. Guests in this program were provided with a warm, inviting shelter for the night at one of our partner churches. During the day guests worked with case managers to secure housing, employment and stability needed to improve their situation.
Here are some quotes from Hope Haven guests:
"United Way and West Central MN Communities Action and the Church we're amazing people and so respectful and go beyond their means for me. And also, the church's volunteers were amazing people."
"I wanted to say thank you for everything that you did for me through one of the toughest times in my life. I don’t know what I would have ended up doing if my granddaughter didn’t find you guys! Thank you for making sure I was fed and homed."
"My experience at the church was more than I expected. I needed help and got it immediately and was treated by the volunteers as if we were family. I would recommend this service to anyone in need of a place to stay at, for a few nights while trying to get on their feet."
Thank you to the COUNTLESS Community Partners, Donors and Volunteers provided volunteer time, meals, supplies and donations to make this program possible!
We are happy to share with you that Hope Haven will not need to return this winter.
WCMCA was able to secure additional funding to assist individuals during the cold winter months to ensure no one goes without shelter. Through offering the Hope Have program, WCMCA was able to take some tools learned and have since incorporated Case Management with the hotel program due to success achieved in Hope Haven.
Hope Haven not only filled a gap and met an urgent need in our community, but it also raised awareness about housing challenges faced by individuals and families right here in Douglas & Pope Counties. The collaboration that took place and the relationships that were built will continue to be a gift to our community when needs arise. This is what it looks like when a community Lives United!
United Way of Douglas & Pope Counties
Director of Family and Community Services and Operations
West Central Minnesota Communities Action