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"Our mission is to provide safe, temporary shelter for homeless individuals and families while providing guidance and connecting them to community resources to promote their independence. "
The River Haven Homeless Shelter is run by the River Haven Steering Committee, representatives from various social agencies, clergy from local churches, business people, and other volunteers. It is open to anyone who would like to work with the project.
The house is leased from Columbia County for one dollar per year. Restoration of the house, located at 108 E. Pleasant St., cost less than $20,000, as most of the work was done by volunteers and much of the building material and furniture was donated by people and businesses in the community.
The Shelter is a Non-Profit 501(c)(3) Organization. The project is funded by some grants but its most important source of income is from ongoing fundraising within the community. The shelter depends on the generosity of the community.
Families with children, individual women, and individual men are welcome at the shelter, though we have a separate shelter for the men. All adults, children, and volunteers over the age of 12 must pass a background screening. We do not accept violent individuals or ones with a history of violence. We also do not accept individuals with a criminal history and felony drug use within the past 3 years. The maximum number of residents at one time is 16. Thirty days in any one-year period is the maximum stay. However, a stay can be shortened if house rules are broken. Some rules: No alcohol or smoking allowed on the premises; residents must clean their rooms and community areas; curfew hours and quiet hours also pertain; no visitors are allowed in the house.
River Haven Homeless Shelter educates its residents about services such as the food pantry, rental assistance, medical assistance, mental health programs, the food share program, child care, W2, or anything else to help them make better choices. We also require them to report job search information to a case manager if a resident is not employed but could be. River Haven is staffed 24 hours a day, with a case worker on duty 7 days a week. The case worker makes sure that house rules are followed. The project is always looking for volunteers and to act as mentors when the opportunity arises.
We also encourage workshops and ideas for workshops at the shelter for the residents for personal enrichment such as cooking, knitting, kids projects, rent smart, budgeting, etc. We also provide tours of the shelters, please contact us.Call River Haven at (608) 742-7687 if you would like to donate items or to volunteer
- Jessica Corliss
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