It can happen to anyone: your neighbor, your coworker, your sister, or your brother. Homelessness is a serious issue that many people in our very own community face. Volunteers of America of Western New York’s Emergency Shelter for Men not only works to provide men and families with immediate assistance but also long-term change.
Operating for over 25 years, the program aims to provide immediate crisis housing to those in need while also providing necessities, including food and clothing. On average, Volunteers of America of Western New York provides more than 30,000 nights of housing and 37,000 meals each year.
Through the onset of the pandemic, VOAWNY never wavered in delivering its services. While adapting to a changing society and CDC guidelines, the agency made its additional mission to take extra precautions in keeping their staff and patrons they served extra safe.
The Emergency Shelter for Men creates lasting change in these individuals’ lives through collaboration with other agencies in the community, including Coordinated Entry, Department of Social Services, and the Southern Tier Homeless Coalition. Beyond finding shelter, these programs also assist in mental and physical health, job search, recovery support, and educational services. An essential piece of VOAWNY’s work also includes their re-entry assistance, helping to lead a path for those who have made their way through and left the justice system.
“People often think that the homeless man they see is in their situation because of drug abuse, but that’s often not the case,” says Mike Dedee of Volunteers of America. These outcomes can stem from a variety of reasons, including home fires or unemployment.
In a 2019 study, there were roughly 318 homeless people in our community. Do you want to aid in the fight against the homelessness epidemic and make a difference? Consider donating to United Way of Broome County today.