Mid-Michigan homeless shelters need workers to help community

Published: Feb. 1, 2023 at 6:47 PM EST
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EAST LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - As temperatures stay below freezing, homeless shelters are struggling to meet the needs of the community. That’s because they don’t have enough workers.

Shelters need employees working overnight while people experiencing homelessness sleep. Haven House doesn’t have that right now, so it is helping families stay in area hotels.

“The ability to lean into that hotel model really allows us to continue to provide shelter services,” said Gabriel Biber, Haven House Executive Director.

Haven House in East Lansing helps families with any housing need, whether that’s resources to find a place to live, help with rent or emergency shelters.

“When we are providing on-site services, that includes not just a place to sleep, but food and other resources,” said Biber.

But Biber said no one stays the night because they don’t have enough workers. Instead, it is using area hotels to help provide shelter.

“Some families really thrive in that communal environment and it really helps them while in the shelter, other families might thrive in a more independent environment,” said Biber.

Haven House isn’t alone. The City Rescue Mission told News 10 it is also looking for employees. It is having what staff it does have working overtime, which adds costs.

Biber said it’s a community effort to meet people’s needs.

“Really we have to have those individual needs to really find the most appropriate intervention. For us, the most appropriate is the least invasive,” said Biber.

Shelters also said they are looking for volunteers. Just contact them if you’d like to help:

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