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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!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

delonis center helped me change my life around great people great agency

1 Bekah W.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The shelter has helped me hone my social work skills and has helped so many clients not only find housing but leave equipped with the skills necessary to keep housing.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered at this shelter and I was very impressed by the kindness and dedication of the case workers and the kitchen staff. They made me, a volunteer, feel welcome and valued.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The Shelter Association of Washtenaw County (Delonis Center) has proven to be a God send for the local community. This agency has an intricate and very personalized program dedicated to helping the homeless population achieve independence, "one person at a time." The work done there through directors, managers, case managers, operations specialists, as well as other staff and the many volunteers is truly above par. Their internal team shows a dedication and compassion for the people they serve that is reflected through the success of their clients. Five stars and two thumbs up!

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have been a small part of changing many, many lives while employed at the SAWC, including my own. The people who come to us are at their very bottom of everything...no home, no income, no hope. When they leave here to enter sustainable housing, they have all those things returned to them and then some. I began working here as a part time employee, just having left a 25 year marriage and my own home. I was full of fear, but today, because of working here, I am a fully independent homeowner with Habitat for Humanity. I have paid vacation and sick days, full medical insurance benefits, a retirement account, and a living wage. I am no longer afraid. I feel what our clients feel...the good and the bad! We do amazing things here. You give, we serve, lives change!
Anonymous

1 Jennifer606

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Offer a wide range of services to aid vulnerable individuals.

Previous Stories
1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have been an employee of the Shelter Association of Washtenaw County for over 5 years and am grateful for all of the experience I have received. I came here a novice, trying to gain some basic experience in the social work field and 5 years later still know that I made the right choice. The services provided by the shelter for the homeless population are invaluable and a major part of their survival when they are not actually staying at the shelter. I am happy to be a part of a team that cares enough to ensure the safety and well being of a population that most of society wishes would just go away.

2 ddneering

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

This is one of the most amazing organization in Ann Arbor working with individuals who are experiencing homelessness.

The focus is on helping people to solve the problems that are keeping them from finding a place and learning how to keep that home.

An talented staff, great volunteers and committed board...makes for a very effective organization.

Previous Stories
3

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The Shelter Association has been doing great work in our community for over 30 years. It has the mission of "ending homelessness one person at a time". They are effective in doing this having housed over 200 individuals last year.

The staff members are dedicated professionals. The Board members are committed to keeping the organization one of the best in Washtenaw County.

We are lucky to have them in our community.

Read more
1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This shelter has been wonderful to volunteer at! Staff is extremely friendly and helpful to the clients. Things tend to be extremely clean around here as well.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

In seven years I have seen many clients benefit from the services and informed staff at the Shelter Association of Washtenaw County! The successes have varied greatly. Many clients have been housed or received assistance with sustaining housing. As a member of the community, I have witnessed how lives have changed after an individual ends their homelessness. Former clients have obtained skills/certifications that have proved to be life changing! Clients have been able to obtain/sustain housing after case managers helped them to become sober. Ive witnessed clients reunited with estranged family. Former shelter clients seldom forget their experience and often return to volunteer or support those still in need. Shelter staff meets clients where they are and link them to supportive services when they've succeeded. Great place to help!

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The Delonis Center is extremely well set up with a program that truly focuses on housing clients and breaking down barriers that contribute to their homelessness!

1

Client Served

Rating: 4

The staff here really offers warmth to the residents, although at times the rules can be excessive. I feel welcome, safe and cared for and for this I am grateful.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

As a supporter of the Shelter I am continually inspired by the ways they continue to serve the community and house more and more people in need every year.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

How hard they work and how much they care about the clients really encourages me to work hard so that one day I can positively impact the lives of others the same way they do. I am getting ready to leave the area but as I do i will always treasure the time that I have spent there and hope to find an organization as wonderful as this one.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The Shelter Association is a wonderful asset to the community. They impact people's lives in a positive way by ending homelessness.

1 Jenny107

Volunteer

Rating: 5

nice place, when I work there it feels more like a social visit, everyone knows each other and supports each other, nice community. This shelter offers so many services that are very valuable, one in particular that isn't officially listed is a patient ear and shoulder to cry on-the staff are so caring, and will spend time talking/listening to a resident who's having a bad day, the staff are genuinely invested in clients success and well being.