Critical services target causes of homelessness

SHELTER, Inc. isn’t just about providing a place to stay for families and individuals looking to get off the street. We recognize that each person at our shelters has a different background and set of needs. In addition to interim and long-term housing, we provide a full array of wraparound services that support the unique needs of our participants to help them regain self-sufficiency.

“Homelessness is a symptom,” says Barbara Simpson, program manager of case management services. “Most people find themselves in a shelter because of co-occurring tragedies or challenges, which compounds their trauma and ability to overcome obstacles.”

Our case management services are wide-ranging and are tailored to each family or individual that comes to us. Even in the best of times, navigating available service options can be challenging. But for those suffering the trauma of homelessness, finding your way through complex systems of care can be impossible. These can include employment training, referrals for mental health care and physical wellness, and enrollment in public benefits.

We also provide life skills training, in the form of money management and conflict resolution advice and consultations on how to handle the stresses of day-to-day life. In addition, we assist families and individuals as they search for housing, which connects families and individuals with financially-sustainable solutions that fit their needs.

We also offer other programs to traditionally under-served communities. We work with veterans, those suffering from mental health and substance use disorders or physical disabilities, survivors of domestic violence, and those re-entering society having successfully exited the state prison system.

Brandon Wirth, director of shelter services, shares, “many of the folks we serve are chronically homeless, which means they have been without housing for at least 12 months. In fact, we help people who have been homeless on-and-off for years, sometimes a decade. For those people, the road to re-housing is long and arduous. But that is where help meets hope; a better future for them and for our community.”

Wirth adds that tremendous respect is paid to the role mental health plays in the journeys of families and individuals who come to the organization looking for help. SHELTER, Inc. provides resources that allow people to work through each unique situation and lay the foundation for long-term progress.

SHELTER, Inc. is also continually adding new programs and services to serve families, individuals, and the communities they’ll return to. Most notably, the construction of a new dining hall and kitchen at SHELTER Solano will aid families and individuals during and after their stays at the facility. In addition to providing a large communal space to gather and eat, the building will allow for the launch of a culinary services program, which will teach the residents skills they can use to increase their income at jobs which are in high demand.

Visit the SHELTER, Inc. website for more information on our purpose within Contra Costa, Solano, and Sacramento counties, and how we achieve our mission to inspire people, change lives, and end homelessness.