MONROE – The Union County Community Shelter has a new name – Community Shelter of Union County. The change was announced Aug. 30.
“You might ask, ‘What’s the difference?’ CEO Kathy Bragg said. “In most ways, there’s absolutely no difference. We’re still the nonprofit organization that provides 24/7 on-site and off-site services to the hungry and homeless residents of Union County.”
The organization tweaked its name to emphasize its three program lines of service – emergency shelter, food and rehousing.
“We’re proud of our services and want everyone to know what they are,” Bragg added.
“In the past, we’ve been confused with governmental agencies and with the animal shelter, so we’re putting the visual focus on what we do and for whom.”
Last year, the shelter provided emergency shelter to 617 homeless people, served 54,021 prepared meals and 1,199 emergency food boxes to clients, and helped 107 households move into permanent housing.
Individuals, families, churches, social organizations and businesses provided most of the 54,021 meals served last year in the soup kitchen. Those same donors also brought in thousands of pounds of canned and packaged goods to be delivered in emergency food boxes to off-site clients.
The 2017-18 budget totaled $1,063, 598, with fundraising events and government grants providing $494,808 or 47 percent. Contributions totaled $195,980 or 18 percent, while the annual United Way grant was $99,514 or 9 percent, foundation grants were $200,638 or 19 percent and miscellaneous funding was $72,658 or 7 percent.
Although the shelter is the first stop for the homeless and hungry in the county, almost half of the budget is spent on rehousing programs designed to keep one-time or incidental homelessness from becoming chronic.
By encouraging rapid rehousing, the nonprofit is keeping temporary homelessness from becoming persistent for many residents.
Visit www.UnionShelter.org for details on how to help the organization.