A partnership between the capital city and a shelter aims to tackle the problem of chronic homelessness in the area.
As of January 1st, Bismarck and Mandan’s only emergency homeless shelter now runs 24/7.
United way Emergency Homeless Center will be able to help those in need around the clock.
Thanks to a one-time funding of $250,000, the United Way Emergency Homeless Shelter is now open around the clock.
“We are really grateful for the partnership with the city of Bismarck to help solve some of these problems in our community. Right now, there is nowhere for homeless people to go during the day hours,” shares Jena Gullo, the Missouri Slope United Way Executive Director.
With cold weather conditions, and most people not having some or all resources needed to stay warm in the winter.. the shelter’s doors are now open 24-7, as way to meet a need in the community.
The city of Bismarck granted the organization these funds, allowing them to pay for staff to be on hand 24/7.
“For the last two years, we’ve been an overnight shelter only. But when the temperatures drop below zero, we were scrambling because we didn’t have staffing or money to keep our doors open during the day time. But yet we didn’t want to send people out in the cold,” explains Gullo.
The partnership between the city and United Way also means those staying in the shelter will have more services.
To help make the partnership work well, Bismarck’s public health director will also serve as the city’s liaison to the united way.
“Have some transparency between United way shelter and the city of Bismarck. So our city leaders and our citizens are all informed and aware on where the money is going and what it’s being used for. And how it’s assisting those in the community, in need,” shares Renae Moch, the Bismarck Public Health Director.
The shelter will also serve as the single point of contact for Bismarck’s police department to bring those who need somewhere to stay.
“If they have individuals that in the middle of the night, they have come upon someone that has no where else to go, no friends no family, but needs shelter, United way will serve as the single point of contact for them. So they could call the shelter, no matter what time of day. And they would have a place for them to bring individuals that are looking for a place to stay,” explains Moch.
Now, with these funds, United Way will need to provide the city commission with a mid-term and year-end report to break down the data.
It will include the amount of people they served and their demographics.
The United Way Emergency Homeless shelter has room for 57 people at a time.