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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

87 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The shelter association of Washtenaw County provides top-notch service to its clients. They take into account the personal struggles that each client is faced with, and handles them in a compassionate and confidential manner.

I have volunteered on multiple occasions, in various areas of the shelter, and have found the staff to be wonderfully committed to truly making a difference in these peoples lives. working with them as a volunteer has always been a positive experience and provides a shining example of their level of compassion and understanding.

I am also a member of a local church that works with the Delonis Center, and it's truly an honor and a pleasure to work with them.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 4

The shelter association of Washtenaw County provides excellent service to those in need. compassionate and qualified staff work hard daily to help individuals combat the barriers to housing.
The shelter served nearly 1,500 people last year and permanantly housed 200 people.
In winter months, The shelter provides warming centers and rotating shelters to over 500 people.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been involved with many non-profits over the last 40 years. The Shelter Association is one of the best. It's an impressive organization, committed to the difficult task of ending homelessness - one person at a time. The staff is professional and committed to the mission and works extremely hard every day to achieve this goal. The Board and volunteers are all engaged and dedicated to supporting the staff as they work with the clients to find housing for them and support clients, as needed, to help them remain housed. It is challenging work.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

What the Shelter does for folks is nothing short of amazing. From start to finish the process of ending homelessness is a great thing to be a part of. I am so happy to be a part of this community that helps those who need it when they are most vulnerable.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been aware of the Shelter Association and it's incredible impact on the community for a number of years. I am really encouraged by the quality of care the Shelter's staff provides and the amount each and every staff member puts in to help serve the adult homeless population in Washtenaw County. As an organization that offers a multitude of wide-ranging services to clients, I really feel proud of this organization and continue to enjoy volunteering in a number of ways.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I started volunteering at the Shelter Association to gain more hands-on experience in my field of interest (affordable housing & homelessness prevention) while looking for a full-time job. I had already heard fantastic things about the Delonis Center & I was further impressed with what I learned in my time as a volunteer. I now am a part-time employee at the Shelter & I love it.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I've been volunteering with the Shelter for 6 years, and have been involved professionally with the homeless and near-homeless of Washtenaw County for more than twice as long. I've seen first hand how the Shelter is an indispensable resource for its clients, efficiently and compassionately run by its staff, and respected in the community. I hear from many clients who say the Shelter has helped them turn around their lives, giving them the supports that allow them to become stable and housed. We are very fortunate indeed to have such an organization in our community.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The Shelter Association provides many services in its endeavor to "end homelessness, one person at a time." One of these is the Shelter Clinic, which I manage. The clinic provides Primary Care and sees homeless people who are both staying in the Shelter and those living outside. We also provide medical case management: these staff support people in obtaining permanent access to healthcare services, in addition to helping them take care of urgent needs.

Client Served

Rating: 4

I went to the Shelter looking for gloves and a blanket and they let me stay the night as part of the warming center. This was more than I expected.

Kandrews

Board Member

Rating: 5

The Shelter Association of Washtenaw County serves the most at-risk population of the homeless, and they do so in a community collaborative fashion, partenring with over 30 agencies to focus on identifying and resolving root causes of pervasive homelessness. Their mission of "ending homelessness one person at a time" is a calling for the staff and volunteers of the SAWC, and they have laudable success rates with limited resources. The SAWC is an important part of our community delivering a critical service.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering at St Andrews breakfast program for the last several years and have heard many great comments about the Shelter. Over the last several months I have had an opportunity to be involved in the Shelter first hand and I must say, what I have heard is not only true but the services and staff far exceeded my expectations.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I've been delighted to get to know this organization. It's certainly top notch for Washtenaw County. However, knowing opertions of this sort across the nation as I do, I must say that it is one of the best-run operations I've seen. Staff and board alike are passionate about the mission.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I started at the shelter with some preconceived notions of those experiencing homelessness. The more time I spend the more I learn that many of my earlier preconceived notions were myth based and not fact based. There are so many really great people that are finding themselves here simply because of lack of employment and affordable housing.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I came to the shelter as a volunteer and worked on the floor with clients. It has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. I love seeing many clients get back on their feet and regain housing.