Servants of Shelter is a community-based nonprofit 501 (c)3 committed to upholding the dignity and respect of homeless persons by providing temporary shelter, guidance, and access to community resources.
How big of an issue is homelessness in our community?
Servants of Shelter provided over 4000 stays in the last year. We work in collaboration with other local agencies to connect our guests to permanent housing services many guests. Homelessness in rural and remote communities such as ours is often invisible, but it very much exists.
What does homelessness look like?
Homelessness is a complex issue and it affects people of all ages, gender, and ability. There is no set formula for homelessness, but often the causes of homelessness are a lack of affordable housing, family disruption such as domestic violence, poverty, substance abuse, mental illness and incomes not matching housing prices.
Each year we take part in a national Place in Time Homelessness Survey. This year we, along with several local housing, social service, emergency service agencies took part in the survey and 68 individuals were homeless on one evening in January. This is a gross under-representation of the actual number of homeless in our area, as many people did not come into contact with the surveyors during the limited time the survey takes place.
We were formed in 2009 following a series of a citizen task force meetings on homelessness. S.O.S. was created to fill the gap in services for emergency shelter that was being experienced in Koochiching County at that time. We began by housing people on a rotating basis, and have evolved over time to offer short-term apartment and hotel stays. We are almost entirely volunteer-driven and have been since our inception.
S.O.S. relies heavily on the support of our caring and compassionate community. We hold annual fundraisers such as our newly popular fundraiser “Singing Valentines”, “S.O.S. Serves You” chores (window washing, garden work, etc), and S.O.S. Rummage Sale.
We also thank our Funders- Past and Present: