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2019 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Shelter Association of Washtenaw County

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Community Clinics, Health, Homeless & Housing, Homeless Centers, Homeless Shelters, Human Services

Mission: The mission of the Shelter Association of Washtenaw County is to end homelessness one person at a time.

Results: Last year we served over 1200 unique individuals, adjustments to programming in the previous year allowed us to serve nearly 100 more individuals in the Residential Program.

Target demographics: Adult men and women experiencing homelessness.

Direct beneficiaries per year: Predominantly adult men and women who are Washtenaw County residents at the time they experience homelessness. Last year over 1200 individuals received some type of service from the Shelter Association.

Geographic areas served: Washtenaw County

Programs: Residential Program: The Residential Program offers individuals who are experiencing homelessness the opportunity to have temporary shelter and intensive case management to assist them in finding sustainable income and affordable housing. At the beginning of their stay, a case manager is assigned who leads them through a comprehensive, empathetic assessment to identify their specific barriers to obtaining housing. Together a plan is created to address these barriers. Upon entering the Residential Program, one must commit to work on finding and saving income, and obtaining sustainable housing, while remaining clean and sober for the duration of the stay. Non-Residential Program: For individuals experiencing homelessness who are not currently in the Residential Program, the Shelter Association provides an array of services to both provide immediate assistance and encourage long-term change. Services such as laundry, showers, and access to the Shelter's free health services may be utilized by anyone in need. There are also a variety of assistance programs available such as: employment assistance, benefit assistance, housing search assistance and many others which help find or increase income and locate sustainable housing. Currently more than 30 agencies, ranging from AA to the VA, provide services on-site. These services help individuals who are not yet ready to enter the Residential Program, who are waiting for a place in the Residential Program or who have temporary shelter elsewhere but need to access our services. Warming Programs: December through March, or any time the temperature (or wind chill) falls below 35 degrees, the Shelter Association opens the first floor Warming Center overnight to provide life-saving warmth to people in the community who are in need. During the depths of winter (December through March) the Shelter Association expands the capacity of the warming center through our Rotating Shelter Program. This year 18 faith based organizations will host up to 35 individuals each night, providing a bed at their facility for one or two weeks.

Community Stories

80 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

SAWC has impacted hundreds of people from around the country. Their warming center touches home to see how hard the staff work and how much the facility pays forward to the community. They work hard to make sure no one is left in the cold or to connect people to the correct services.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The impact it has on the Community at large is huge but it's the individual lives it touches that impacts me. To see someone come through a rough patch and get back on track makes you proud to be associated with this Organization

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

SAWC is a great asset to this community. In addition to ending homelessness, the staff at SAWC are skilled passionate empathetic and knowledgeable about resources in the community. They assist guests with addressing and removing social, legal and financial barriers to health and housing. During the winter months, SAWC opens a warming center to allow all individuals in need to sleep inside at night. SAWC is a leader in meeting clients where they are as well as answering the calls for help.

Previous Stories

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

SAWC does great work for the Ann Arbor and surrounding communities! The staff partner with clients in a client centered low barrier relationship to end homelessness, including support, counseling and advocacy in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, financial barriers to housing like evictions, shutoffs, poor or no credit. The SAWC team is knowledgeable about other agencies and services and are skilled at referrals and connecting clients to care. SAWC understands the many barriers faced by those experiencing chronic homelessness or who are insecurely housed. There is a Clinic and Community kitchen on site. staff are consistently trained in deescaltion, CPR and to use Narcan. Finally, SAWC is always engaged with the community, clients and stakeholders to improve the services and programming provided!

Audrey C.1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The Delonis Center is one of the best resources for individuals who are experience homelessness in Washtenaw County.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Great place to be the staff are so great always so helpful

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

SAWC helped house 265 individuals in their last fiscal year.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The Shelter Association of Washtenaw County does an incredibly good job of making everyone feel welcome. They provide in the best way they can year-round for their clients. It's been a pleasure working with them!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Delonis has helped so many people to end there homelessness! Such an amazing organization that is always there to help the clients.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have worked for the Shelter Association of Washtenaw County for 8 years. I am an Operations Specialist at the Delonis Center and I am very passionate about my job. In fact, I volunteer for special projects outside of work to benefit our clients because I truly believe in our mission, which goes far beyond Ending Homelessness one person at a time. I enjoy reaching out to folks in the community to educate them about what we are doing for those we serve. After all, we are striving to change lives for the better!

Our Board, Executive Director Dan Kelly and development team have been working hard to form relationships with key leaders in Washtenaw County for support and we have added an array of programs to help our clients focus on their overall well-being. Recently, we won a Governor's Service Award for one of our volunteer programs. ArtBreak Studio is made up of a group of approximately 25 talented volunteer artists who teach our clients about art through a weekly drop-in art class. They have dedicated more than 1,500 hours to this program already and have taught clients how to paint with water colors, work with clay, draw self-portraits, draw using charcoal as well as other exciting art projects. Recently, David Zinn worked with our clients through ArtBreak Studio to create chalk artwork in front of the Delonis Center. This program has changed lives and is a form of art therapy for our clients. Becki Spangler is the volunteer who runs the ArtBreak program and is pictured here with Dan Kelly receiving the prestigious Governor's Service Award from Governor Gretchen Whitmer on September 5, 2019

- Dawn Gemler

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The Shelter Association does amazing work with housing individuals who have many barriers to housing. They work through many challenging situations to get people into housing and are determined to ensure that these folks are as successful as possible. The staff are welcoming and respectful to everyone who walk through the doors. it is an wonderful place with kind employees who very much care about those they serve.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I love being part of such a wonderful mission and using my skills to create a better world!

icampbe2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The shelter is the front door to services in Washtenaw county and as such helps people meeting them where they are and delivers the much-needed help in the here and now.
If you ever need the help of any kind from shelter to the initiation of mental health care stop in to find the resources delivered with the respect they can provide. Absolutely the best in the county at providing acute care with passion and professionalism.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Not only does the SAWC house people daily, they also offer a great many benefits to its' employees. I was recently very ill and off work for about 6 months, but because of the long term disability offered by my employer, I didn't have to become a client. The medical insurance saved hundreds of thousands of dollars in expenses for the many surgeries I have had to have, as well.

Sarah Kuta P.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The Shelter Association of Washtenaw County aims to end homelessness, one person at a time. The case managers work effortlessly to find housing for all that seek it! They are the housing support specialists of Washtenaw County.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The Shelter Association at the Delonis Center is a key player in ending homelessness in Ann Arbor area and the greater Washtenaw County community in Michigan. The organization has been around for over 30 years and continues to try and end homelessness; last year we housed over 230 individuals that were experiencing homelessness!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The Delonis Center takes in hundreds of people into Warming Center during the winter months regardless of the individuals current situation. People are able to stay out of the freezing cold and survive the winter. They have Case Managers that are there to help you find housing if you want to.

1 Jessi M.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have been working for SAWC for 4 wonderful years. It has been very rewarding working with people experiencing homelessness in Washtenaw county. I have witnessed many success stories along the way. I feel like I am contributing to a greater cause and I am very lucky to belong to such a caring organization.

Previous Stories
1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The Shelter Association of Washtenaw County assists 100s of people each year in obtaining and maintaining sustainable housing.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The Delonis Center does an amazing job helping those who are less fortunate. The entire staff is very caring, compassionate and professional. Clients come to the Delonis Center with many different barriers, but when they leave, many of their challenges to finding stable housing have been eliminated. Clients know that when they have no other choices in their lives, the Delonis Center staff will be there to support them through the most difficult times in their lives.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I first came to the Shelter on a volunteer basis. As a volunteer I received the opportunity to observe shelter operations, do laundry, and engage with shelter clients.

The Shelter meets the basic needs of hundreds of individuals on a daily basis. Many of these needs are things that I was guilty of taking for granted, before coming to the Shelter.

A shower, the opportunity to do laundry, access to a telephone, food, and storage for personal belongings are just a few things that become available to individuals who are experiencing homelessness.

The shelter also provides a clean bed in a safe environment, all year round, to 50 Residential clients. When temperatures drop, the shelter is able to provide a bed for an additional 60+ individuals through it's warming center and an additional 25 beds through it's rotating shelter. Each night, through the winter months, 135+ individuals receive shelter from the cold and a place to sleep. If it were not for the shelter, these individuals would have no place to go.

The Shelter does more than provide a temporary solution to a problem. Shelter staff are compassionate and empathetic as they work with individuals on a case by case basis to assist them in finding income and affordable housing, so as to end their experience of homelessness as quickly as possible.

Engaging with clients provided me with the opportunity to understand the circumstances that may lead to an individual's homeless circumstance. The majority of the individuals that I encountered have disabilities that put them at a disadvantage as they seek to obtain or struggle to maintain employment. Many individuals have experienced trauma or tragedy that led to their becoming homeless. Most of the clients at the Shelter are optimistic about their future and work hard to do their part to end their experience of homelessness. The Shelter provides individuals with the help that they need to get back on their feet.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Shelter Association is a wonderful asset to Washtenaw County. The services they offer are absolutely phenomenal and are personalized for each individuals situation. Staff is accommodating and a pleasure to work with. Love volunteering here and will continue to do so!