Haven Min­istries of­fers com­mu­nity ser­vices year round

Record Observer - - News -

STEVENSVILLE — While the Haven Min­istries Shel­ter opened on Dec. 1 at Kent Is­land United Methodist Church in Stevensville, the or­ga­ni­za­tion is go­ing be­yond the church’s doors to iden­tify per­sons who may be home­less and need to be con­nected to sup­port­ive ser­vices, es­pe­cially dur­ing the bit­ter months of winter. As soon as in­di­vid­u­als are iden­ti­fied in the com­mu­nity as pos­si­bly be­ing home­less, Haven Min­istries’ Street Outreach Pro­gram reaches out to find as­sis­tance that day to be sure the in­di­vid­ual does not spend an­other night on the street.

Ac­cord­ing to Sandi Wis­cott, di­rec­tor of op­er­a­tions and case man­age­ment at Haven Min­istries, a num­ber of calls this sea­son have been from women and chil­dren who are “house surf­ing” with­out a per­ma­nent ad­dress.

Wis­cott said, “It’s hard for them to ask for help. They need jobs and day care — it’s more than just hous­ing. Of- ten, the fight has gone out of them.”

Haven Min­istries works to get peo­ple con­nected to food, em­ploy­ment, hous­ing, driver’s li­censes and med­i­cal in­sur­ance cover­age. Each client at Haven Min­istries’ sea­sonal shel­ter gets in­di­vid­ual coun­sel­ing and as­sis­tance ev­ery day, as well as trans­porta­tion as­sis­tance. In the Street Outreach pro­gram, staff fol­lows up by phone and/or in per­son with peo­ple to be sure they are mak­ing progress.

Caro­line Aland of Stevensville, pres­i­dent of Haven Min­istries Board of Di­rec­tors, wants lo­cal Queen Anne’s County res­i­dents to know that al­though the shel­ter is open in cold weather months, the or­ga­ni­za­tion is al­ways iden­ti­fy­ing and work­ing with lo­cal res­i­dents through the Street Outreach Pro­gram.

Aland said, “In ad­di­tion [to ex­ist­ing ser­vices], new this year is our Re­source Cen­ter at St. Paul’s Epis­co­pal Church in Cen­tre­ville, which of­fers ser­vices five days a week to the gen­eral pub­lic.”

The new Re­source Cen­ter of­fers ed­u­ca­tional pro­gram­ming and job train­ing for clients who need this as­sis­tance. Case man­age­ment ser­vices, which are avail­able at the cen­ter Mon­day through Fri­day, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m, en­able in­di­vid­u­als who may not be home­less to con­nect to ser­vices and avoid be­com­ing home­less. Since open­ing on Nov. 15, the cen­ter has helped more than 20 peo­ple with ser­vices.

“It’s been well re­ceived for case man­age­ment ser­vices for peo­ple from all over Queen Anne’s County,” Wis­cott said.

Trans­porta­tion is an im­por­tant com­po­nent in help­ing Ha- ven Min­istries’ clients to move for­ward in their lives. It en­ables them to get to doc­tor ap­point­ments, to at­tend school, and to gain em­ploy­ment.

“We chip away at the moun­tain fac­ing them so that they don’t give up,” said Wis­cott.

Haven Min­istries of­fers a 24-hour-a-day pro­gram, ex­cept for week­ends when the Re­source Cen­ter is closed. In ad­di­tion to its sea­sonal shel­ter and Re­source Cen­ter, the or­ga­ni­za­tion op­er­ates a Thrift Store, Mon­day through Satur­day from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and a Food Pantry on the third Fri­day of ev­ery month.

For in­for­ma­tion or to be­come a Friend of Haven Min­istries, visit haven-min­istries. org or call 410-739-4363.

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