The Need Is Great
Our new Union County Community Shelter will be built at the corner of Miller and Meadow streets on land donated by the City of Monroe. The facility will be approximately 20,000-square-feet, almost tripling the current 7,000 square feet.Staff and volunteers expect to raise most of the $4 million building cost before ground is broken and to be in the building within two years.
The need for additional space is great, as evidenced by these facts.
- We provided temporary housing to 67 families and 292 single adults last year.
- Most of the families were housed in a motel paid for by the Shelter because the existing facility cannot accommodate families with children. The new building will have separate facilities for families, which will save approximately $30,000 a year in hotel costs and will facilitate access to the soup kitchen for families who may not have a car.
- Overnight stays in the Shelter greatly exceed capacity for both men and women. The new facility will have an increased number of beds for both men and women.
- Clients waiting for meals must wait outside regardless of the weather because there is no waiting space inside our current building.
- At 280 square feet, the kitchen is smaller than in many homes, making daily meal preparation for 80 diners difficult.
- Tables are wedged into the dining room, which holds only half of the soup kitchen clients at a time. At night, the tables are replaced with cots for overflow sleeping space for men.
- More than 80 meal clients and volunteers each day have just one toilet to use.
- Residents have minimal space to store their belongings. Each resident has one plastic utility tub for all personal items, with the tubs stacked in a closet or along a wall.
- The living room seats eight, grossly insufficient for the 35 to 40 daily residents and unavailable when needed for female overflow sleeping.
- Residents, those in family shelter and homeless who reside outside the Shelter have just two washers and dryers available for their use.
- Office space is minimal. Staff has grown from five in 2011 to 16 today, including case managers, nutrition services, housing and logistics coordinators, fundraising staff and executive director. Some use closet space as offices.
- The Shelter has no common area for classroom programs, computer access, volunteer meetings or other group activities. The board of directors holds all its meetings off site.