Homelessness in Hometown

Category: Society
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Huntsville, Tx is a city with a high rate in population growth and homelessness is an issue that is over looked. There are many people without a home or low incomes which makes them inclined to stress and fall under poverty level. There are individuals and families that cannot afford to purchase groceries, or toiletries for their families. Everyone can get a job and maintain middle class status, but there is a great amount of people that have jobs and are still in poverty level. The Good Shepard Mission is a shelter that can assist families and individuals to begin their journey to recovery. There are programs such as the H.O.P.E House and other counseling to assist families. The Good Shepard Mission has certain requirements in order to seek help at the shelter. The journey to a better life is a lot of work, but it is worth it because it will be better for the future.

A helpful community always look out for one another, and in this community the Good Shepard Mission depends on it. The most monumental places to work is the Texas Department of Criminal Justice and Sam Houston State University. Living in Huntsville is not easy or anywhere for that matter, but when working at a job other than those two it is difficult to make a good living. The prisoners that are released often go to the Mission for lodging this is the one place in Huntsville that will help people who are struggling try and make ends meet. If there are people passing by and need a place to sleep but can not afford a hotel or motel are welcome to stay at the Good Shepard Mission for the night rather than sleeping in a car.

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The Good Shepard Mission shelter has been around for three decades. They give services to people from all races, religions, and backgrounds. Students of Lone Star Montgomery College should become aware of this facility to inform the options of volunteering or helping the shelter in Huntsville. If they are transferring to Sam Houston State University they should look in to donating to this facility.

The Good Shepard Mission has been around for 35 years. They recently have remodeled the facility and added some new features. The reason behind their purpose is the Good Shepard Mission website has reported that, Walker County is recognized as the tenth poorest county in Texas. The medium household income per family in this country is a fourth less than Montgomery County. Huntsville has TDCJ and Sam Houston State University offer these major jobs. The Mission provides for families outside of the facility as well. In fact most of the people they help are residents of Huntsville that are not living at the facility.

The people who stay for a night are people who get to have breakfast at six in the morning. The majority of workers do not get paid to do their job they do it voluntarily. This facility is a non-profit organization the funds that come in are from local churches, businesses, and society. The Mission was one of the first FIVE FAITH BASED organizations to be awarded with a state funded contract. The Mission director is Rev. Dave Smith, He has been the director since 1994. Scott McKinley is the assistant director and has been with the Mission for six years. Elizabeth Cornejo is the case manager and volunteer coordinator. Merry Graham is the food manager and day cook, Merry came to the mission to seek help and later on began working for the shelter she is also the Women’s dorm supervisor, said the Good Shepard Mission website. Wilbert PIP Brown is the pickup and delivery ambassador. He has been working with mission for over eight years.

The shelter serves three meals every day for free, anyone who wants to eat can have a meal, and there are no requirements to qualify for a meal. There are specific hours for meals, but it is welcome to the public. The facility also has a food bank, there they receive items from donations and they will gladly help people in need of food. To receive assistance there will be required a proof of Food Stamps or having assistance from a local church. We serve an average of 140 households per week moving 135 tons of groceries a year. Said the Good Shepard Mission website. For a small shelter they can accomplish many things. When reading the Good Shepard Mission website it said, The annual count for a year of nightly lodging in the Mission shelters totals around 12,000.They happily help people from out of town who do not have a place to stay, or are not able to get a hotel room. The website explains that Huntsville is a good resting spot for travelers. There are people who travel for work and sometimes there vehicles might break down or there can be some delays. Lodging is available in this shelter, lodging is when people who are traveling or passing by do not have a place to stay for the night and they cannot afford a hotel or motel room they are welcome to stay at the shelter. In the interview assistant director Scott McKinley said For lodging anybody, somebody passing through broke down and need a place or food we will help them out with that. The lodgers are allowed up to three nights with the exception of being counseled by the director.

There is a program for families who have lost their homes due to natural disasters. They help with making ties with the community to help build their homes or just helping the family out mentally. In order for the shelter to allow residents to use their family unit the family needs to have a plan first. They should think about what and when they want to accomplish something. They recommend going to local churches or organizations first before considering the Mission. They have connections with other programs to help families find a quicker way to recovery. This program includes case management and counseling. Also if the family is stable with a job they will be asked to help with utility bills at the facility.

If someone is in need of clothing the same requirements apply about having proof of Food Stamps or seeking help from local churches first. The donations that are given is over 500 items in clothing. It is available once a month if needed. Furniture, bedding, and housewares are items that people need that have been through a natural disaster and are not able to purchase their own items right away. They would need proof from the Fire chief if a natural disaster happened. If a Walker county resident has just moved out of the shelter they will receive assistance but will need proof from the shelter they were getting assistance. ??“ Good Shepard Mission website. The Good Shepard Mission provides a moving truck if needed but needs to be scheduled for an appointment. They are very helpful and make things tremendously easier for the person moving or transitioning from shelter to apartment or home. If needing a stove or refrigerator they are put on a wait list, since those items are hard to find that work in proper condition or last for a certain amount of time.

The website explains, Counseling and referrals are by appointment. The different counseling programs they have is spiritual, grief, addiction rehabilitation, martial, and crisis intervention. They have a Substance Abuse Recovery program. The Good Shepard Mission also provides work assistance. They refer to Work Force Solutions for help with their clients. They have a thrift store and a furniture store which are both running on donations of the community. The thrift shop is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to noon. The clothing store is across the street from the main building of the shelter. The assistant director said that they usually have non used name brand clothing for great prices.

Celebrate Recovery is a program that the Good Shepard Mission has that celebrates, God’s healing power. -Pamphlet. This program happens every Tuesday night and is sponsored by Covenant Fellowship. Snacks are from 6:30 to 7:00 a.m., 7:00 to 8:00 a.m. is the general meeting, and from 8:00 to 9:00 pm is the open share groups. In the pamphlet it says, The Road to Recovery based on the Beatitudes. There are eight recovery principles this program goes by and the acronym they use is RECOVERY. It explains what Celebrate Recovery small groups can do and what it will not do. The open share groups it provides in the pamphlet are, Chemically dependent, codependency, adult children of family dysfunction, sexual addiction, recovery from anger, financial recovery, overeating, gambling and more. It also provides guidelines for the small groups, To ensure that Celebrate Recovery is a safe place. The pamphlet of this program the shelter offers is a great way of knowing what is to expected of this meeting. This program has a vision statement that describes overall what they want you to grasp of these meetings.

In an article the Mission has had an event where the they have raised money for the shelter. The article explains that the placement of the city is also affecting the number of people looking for shelter or lodging along the way. It says, Huntsville location and size make it a stopping point or a place to resupply when fleeing Houston and heading north, or on their way south toward the coast of Texas. This article explains the mission has and is based on the donations of the community of Huntsville. The article was made October 21, 2016 The Good Shepard Mission was partnering with the Veterans Museum to celebrate the 32 years of service. Events like these help out the shelter because they sell tickets for those who would like to attend the celebration.

The next program they have is H.O.P.E which stands for Healing Open Personalized Environment. This program helps people with substance abuse to help heal body, mind, and soul. The reason for their substance abuse is that they think it has to do with a spiritual void in their lives. The objectives of this program are, To free people from the use of mind altering substances, help healthy and productive living, teach to be accountable to God, self, family, and community. This program lasts for 9 months and is based on biopsychosocial theory. This program is broken up into multiple sections to give information on how this program works and how serious it is on trying to recover from drug substances. The one who runs this program is the director Rev. Dave Smith along with vol clinical director Dr. R. Henriksen, and intern counselors for LPC.

After the program is complete there is additional steps to do like have church meeting and volunteering at the shelter. The volunteers of the shelter help the front desk, food pantry distribution, food bank warehouse, and a lot more volunteering. The donations are always accepted and there are many ways to give the donations. There is an option online that people can do if they do not feel like they want to go to the shelter or it is more convenient for them. The mission also recycles metals, cardboard and more. They will actually take a trunk and load it with things they can get to donate to other people. The only thing they require for the truck is to make an appointment with the shelter so there will not be any confusion as to who has the truck at what time.

The evaluation of the programs is discussed in meetings held monthly. At the meetings they discuss the way they budget and the staffing. There are some jobs held at the shelter that are paid. They have a treasurer that is local and independent they are part of a book keeping firm. The executive director is in charge of presenting the monthly meetings. There is a CPA firm that particularly helps with Non-Profit organizations. This helps with book keeping and yearly audits for the shelter. The statistical results are by licensed professional counselors they keep the data private to the utmost concern. Qualified volunteers help organize receipts and make the deposits of donations and thrift store revenues which helps hold down book-keeping costs., said the Good Shepard Mission website.

The management of the program is director Rev. Dave Smith. All of the board are local church members. Two members are SHSU professors, one is a dean at SHSU. On the board there are two local pastors and at the shelter they have a Veterans physician assistant as well as a licensed nurse. Volunteers from the board are retired teachers, CFO of a well known credit union, licensed social worker, retired military and TDCJ employees. They have night managers that have graduated from in- house programs. Many of the night managers have special skills and have teaching certificates, and they have to have a food handling license. The majority of the staff that is paid and the ones that are not paid have graduated through the H.O.P.E House or were in the sheltering program.

The paid staff is the full time director Rev, Dave Smith and the case manager and coordinator. The part time food manager is also paid. The funding for the staff is determined by the monthly meetings where they talk about budgeting. The cost of utilities, maintenance, and supplies are handled by the case manager and coordinator. The night managers provide only private rooms and boarding rooms to help with the office after hours. The majority of people that seek help from the shelter have minor warrants the case manager helps commute to community service hours which can be programs of the Mission. On the Good Shepard Mission Website it says, This aspect saves Walker County jail expenses and allows for enhancing the success rate of self-sustaining the program’s participant the ability to be successful on their own.

In the interview the assistant director Scott McKinley said, If an individual or family has a pet they are welcome to stay at the shelter. They understand if families are having financial troubles they would not want to leave a family member behind. The food is supplemental so it not for a whole month most people come once a month to receive canned food and fresh produce. Emergency will be given to anyone. Assistant director Scott McKinley makes sure there is money coming in and money going out to vendors. Assistant director is also the business director as well. They can house 60 people individuals and family together. The main building is a two story facility. The biggest impact in the community is the Food bank. They need to be resident of walker county to receive long term assistance.

The Good Shepard Mission has great programs that can help with homelessness. It strives to become successful in the community. Without volunteers and donations the Mission would not have the amounts of food or clothes they have today. This shelter truly relies on the community and wants to see people become successful. Most of the members of the board are passionate about this shelter and have been working the shelter for more than ten years. The Good Shepard Mission has brought hope to many people and they continue to do so. The programs and the shelter continue to grow and the community is growing with it. There will come times when people might hit rough patches in their lives and might not know what to do. The Good Shepard Mission is happy to help with people or families that struggle to guide them on the right path. Whether you are homeless or just receive low income from your job the Good Shepard Mission is there to help.

Works Cited

Freedom From hurts Habits and Hang-Ups celebrate recovery It’s a New Day. Pamphlet over program Good Shepard Mission Changing Lives for Good. Good Shepard Mission. Lockestep Productions, 2018, http://thegsmission.org/wp/about-us/

McKinley, Scott. Personal interview. 4 October 2018.

Waddill, Tom. Celebrating 32 years of service, Huntsville’s Good Shepard Mission asks for a little help. The Huntsville Item, 2016, http://www.itemonline.com/news/local_news/celebrating-years-of-service-huntsville-s-good-shepard-mission-asks/article_9db54c33-5b1f-5fb7-97d8-65747b66f36f.html

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Homelessness In Hometown. (2019, Jun 26). Retrieved from https://papersowl.com/examples/homelessness-in-hometown/