The Jefferson County Faith Based Network celebrated the grand opening of Madras’ first permanent homeless shelter Wednesday night.
“We’re standing in the place that we, although it’s formally called the Secure Care Shelter Services Center, its nickname is Hope on the Hill. The realization of a three-year dream,” Executive Director for the Faith Based Network, Tony Mitchell, said.
It is a dream-turned-reality that Mitchell and the Jefferson County Faith Based Network believe is just the start.
“We will have case management that will be launching sometime this spring that will allow our people to work with the case manager who will learn their story, develop a relationship with them, use contemporary assessment tools, and then begin the process of referring out,” Mitchell said.
A once abandoned home was torn down to make room for what is now a shelter that will be open all year around, starting as just an overnight shelter, with the hope of becoming a center for support services like counseling, healthcare and housing assistance, not to mention a hot meal.
“The case management function is like an air traffic controller if you will, but it’s an important function that we’ve never had before because that’s part of moving the needle toward helping those who want to make progress in their life, has the opportunity to connect with resources that can support them,” Mitchell said.
Mitchell said this was all possible thanks to the city, which raised nearly all of the $4.2 million it took to build the shelter, and the county’s Faith Based Network, which is now taking control of the operations.
The shelter has 29 beds with separate dorms, including a supportive care dorm for those with disabilities. It has showers, a laundry room, living room, communal space and kitchen.
Operation hours are 6 p.m. – 7 a.m.