Community Spotlight: Shelter Provides Short-Term Solution, Long-Term Results
A Bemidji area homeless shelter works specifically with families in times of crisis. But its programming helps those in need for longer than just their stay.
Village of Hope proves that it takes a village to end homelessness. When Ours to Serve House of Hospitality was first founded, it served families and individuals, but soon found that there was an increase in families experiencing homelessness.
In 2011, the organization built the multi-tenant building to house six families in individual apartments. But the shelter helps the tenants by goes beyond housing. During in-take, they are asked about their situations and the barriers they need to over come.
For some this means overcoming substance abuse, being unemployed, or losing their housing. Once they identify these problems, they create step by step plans to over come them.
As Executive Director Sandy Hennum explains, the families do want to change their situations but might not know how to.
For some, their situations, such as losing custody of their children, happen in a cycles that they can break with the help of their advocates and case managers at the shelter.
On average, the families are at the shelter for 52 days, during that time, they may work with other organizations like Bi-CAP and the shelter to find a permanent home.
Village of Hope will host an open house on October 25, from 4:30 to 6 PM at its shelter in Bemidji.