{ harvey county homeless shelter

“... and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noon day.” Isaiah 58:10 NIV

homeless

Our mission is to show the love of Jesus to those in need of secure, temporary shelter and a hand up, by providing physical, emotional, and spiritual support.

Harvey County Homeless Shelter logoHarvey County Homeless Shelter opened in March 2005. Since it’s opening there has been someone in need of housing every night. In fact, it is estimated over 500 people have stayed at the shelter. Many residents stay at the shelter one week or longer. HCHS is unique in the sense that we can offer housing to men, women, and families all at the same time. New Jerusalem Missions relocated their offices in 2001 to a new “Dwelling Place,” the former Axtell Christian Hospital in Newton, Kansas. Shortly after September 11, 2001, the staff of NJM began to recognize a need in Harvey County for temporary housing. Because NJM is listed in the phone book under “missions” people would call looking for shelter not realizing NJM is an AIDS ministry. NJM has always dedicated a portion of the building for community outreach and shelter in the renovation plans of the Dwelling Place. After talking with other agencies about the increasing calls regarding shelter and cutbacks to the funding of area social services, a task force was formed, including representatives from Mid-CAP, Prairie View, New Jerusalem Missions and several area pastors. When a social agency compiled the results of the research done on those in need within and around the county, it was confirmed that temporary and transitional housing was a priority. Most of those seeking housing within the area were out of work, in marriage crisis, struggling with drug/alcohol addiction, and in need of starting over. A few were transients. Prior to the opening of HCHS the assistance available for emergency housing consisted of a voucher for one single night in an area motel, which met the need of transients. Locally, the greatest need was a place for people to get on their feet again, which takes more than one night.

{ by the community, for the community

Harvey County Homeless Center - shelterDesigned to give shelter for one night to several months, the shelter is organized to fulfill the gospel and is part of a Christian mission organization. HCHS is staffed by volunteers and supported by individuals and fellowships in the community and surrounding area. Without the volunteer staff, the shelter would not exist, there are very few paid positions. HCHS works with other social agencies in the area to see people placed and receiving the help they need to move on in their lives. HCHS is a christian outreach for the community by the community. It is an example of what can happen with the community comes together. Depending on the need, the shelter provides emergency housing from one day to one week, or a transitional housing of one week or longer. The need will be determined with a case manager. The case manager will help to get you on your feet and into an independent living environment.

{ team concept

An HCHS team consists of one or more churches working together to operate, feed and care for the shelter and its residents one week per quarter/four weeks per year. This team provides for their week: a team leader who communicates between the missionary/shelter staff, shelter board, and his/her church; volunteers to work the shelter 5 pm to 8 am; an evening meal every night; monetary gifts to purchase needed perishable items. Currently, HCHS has twenty churches and one college from around Harvey County serving together to make up twelve teams. In addition to the team churches, there are multiple other congregations and colleges that help with meals when needed, provide monetarily, and do service oriented projects. To date we figure that we have had over 400 volunteers serve Christ at the shelter since March 2005. In addition to the teams, many local businesses and individuals have been influential in financial support as well as providing services needed at the shelter. It has been amazing to see the different denominations and individuals come together to serve the poor of our community. It is not a church doing the work of the ministry, but The Church that is caring for the poor of our community.

{ facts

Formed it’s own 501c3 in 2007, so it is no longer operating business-wise under NJM.

Has a board consisting of ten members from the community who serve the HCHS diligently and faithfully.

Financially unique: to date HCHS has been supported 100% by local giving. No government grants have been obtained.

Is a model for what other communities can be doing to manage their own homeless crisis. We currently are assisting several other Kansas communities in opening their own community-run homeless shelters.

Over 400 volunteers have served more than 500 resident’s since the shelter opened in March 2005.

{ HCHS contact information

shelter address:
209 E. Broadway
Newton · KS · 67114

mailing address:
P.O. Box 978
Newton · KS · 67114

shelter phone: 316.283.7711

e-mail: hchomeless_shelter@yahoo.com

visit their site: www.hchs-ks.com