Homeless shelters lending a helping hand to one another, new initiative to better serve the homeless population
MARYLAND- A new initiative is taking place by four homeless shelters in the Tri-County area, their mission is to help the homeless population as a team.
“What we’re doing is, we are going around, touring each others shelters, looking at how we operate,” Joyce Cottman, Executive Director of Lower Shore Shelter, said.
We are told by the Christian Shelter, Diakonia, the Lower Shore Shelter, and the Samaritan Shelter that during the pandemic they have not gotten a lot of support from community organizations.
And they feel like the pandemic might get worse, so they wanted to make sure they would get the support they needed.
“So, we figure if we come together collectively with the collaboration approach we feel like we can better serve the community, the homeless community,” Anthony Dickerson, Executive Director for the Christian Shelter, said.
The shelters will meet once a month to speak about how they can better serve one another and share their services and resources.
“Each shelter has their own specialty, so we are able to tap into each others specialty to better serve the population,” Dickerson said.
“We also have case managers that are able to go to all the different shelters and help them sign up for food stamps, help them get housing assistance,” Bee Miller, Executive Director for Diakonia, said.
For the Lower Shore Shelter, they said this partnership will be great for them because they are fairly new and they have had trouble with funding, even more so because of the pandemic.
“So, it’s very important that we have gotten together so that we can learn from one another and that they share their resources with me,” Cottman said.
The ultimate goal for this new group coming together is to learn how can they better serve the homeless population with the help of each other, and to be role models for others.
“I hope it will continue, I think if we all gather together we’re stronger,” Miller said.
“So, if we can come together as shelters, then I think other organizations, other entities can come together to better serve the populations that they serve,” Dickerson said.