The Shalom Center has been open for 30+ years. We currently have a Soup Kitchen, Emergency Family Shelter, INNS Shelter (Interfaith Network Nightly Shelter, and the Food Pantry. The Soup Kitchen feeds up to 150 people a night, every night of the year. The Emergency Family Shelter houses up to 32 people (children and adults included) every night. The INNS Shelter is a nightly shelter that is currently being held in several different churches and houses up to 40 people a night. The Food Pantry is open to all of Kenosha residents and in 2014 it distributed 1,474,523 pounds of food.
The Shalom Center is proceeding with a single site shelter location to eliminate the INNS nightly shelter where homeless individuals and often times families with children must reside when the Emergency Family Shelter is at capacity. Currently, residents of the INNS shelter, housed in various churches around Kenosha only have access between 7pm-7am and must take their belonging with them each morning. Shalom Center’s single-site emergency shelter for families and individuals will provide all eligible homeless people the opportunity to have a safe, clean place to stay with the ability to safely store belongings, and have access to bathroom/shower and laundry facilities every day.
In 2014 the Shalom Center provided :
- a total of 16,969 nights of shelter to 720 unduplicated individuals (211 children and 509 adults).
- Emergency Family Shelter : 145 (95 children and 50 adults) with an average stay of 63 days with placement into permanent housing 90%.
- Transient INNS Shelter: 575 (116 Children and 459 Adults) with an Average stay of 14 days with placement into permanent housing is 16%.
The process of moving everyday is disruptive and time consuming forcing clients to choose between services, appointments, school attendance and work based on ease of transportation and location, not on importance. Homeless clients live day to day and a lack of a stable place to live and ability to leave their belongings forces them to begin processes over every day that result in repetition of non-productive activities that do not build on next step progressions. Traveling is cumbersome and having long waiting periods for services results in missed appointments, allows the clients to change their mind about services, increases self medicating and general disorder in their daily lives. Children living in transient housing miss more school than children in permanent shelter sites. When left on their own during the day they often have a hard time with follow through and thus are not as successful as they might be if the clients started receiving services in the convenience of the shelter, under the direction of in-house case managers. Left on their own many clients leave the program before receiving services, thus perpetuating the homeless process. With a single site shelter clients would be more likely to continue with services and thus we would expect better outcomes, in terms of finding jobs and permanent housing.