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The Emergency Shelter Services, Inc. has two related missions. Emergency Shelter Services, Inc. will provide temporary housing for families and single women and assist these people to find permanent homes and live independently. Emergency Shelter Service, Inc. will support and engage with other community resources and services to prevent and end homelessness for families and individuals.
Emergency Shelter Services, Inc. is working to prevent and end homelessness in Berrien County. ESS not only provides shelter (400 people) for homeless families and single women (including in-house programs for children to learn and grow), we also are the lead agency for all housing voucher programs in Berrien County. These programs provide short and long term housing for people suffering in poverty. We currently have nearly 300 people receiving a housing voucher, which brings nearly $5 million into our community each year, stimulating our economy. We also provide supportive services for people both within the shelter and upon leaving the shelter which has proven to enhance their chances of success in maintaining stability and moving toward self-sufficiency. The FRIENDS group plays an integral role in this support. We also have a one stop shop (The Connection) for access to services and assisted nearly 300 families with short-term rental assistance, utility assistance or security deposits. Last but not least, we have a resale store that provides job skills training to individuals in our community who otherwise lack the skills to secure gainful employment. We have hired 9 people from the training program within our agency and recently had one trainee hired full-time by a business that works with us. Our training class teaches life skills as well as employment skills so that trainees may move on to other employment and therefore self-sufficiency. Our training classes now have 15 participants and are looking to work with more businesses for on the job training. We provide supportive services to families and individuals to help them move into self-sufficiency. We have many people who have moved up the ladder to success and are now self-sufficient.
- Alysia Babcock
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