The Elmwood Community Shelter (ECS) provides specialized support services to people with mental and medical health issues, substance use disorder, and other challenges with accessing traditional shelter options. The screening process for ECS is operated from a low-barrier perspective—meaning that we do not require that people be sober, compliant with mental health or substance use disorder treatment. While engagement to on-site social services and housing resources are strongly encouraged, guests of the shelter are not required to participate in these programs to maintain guest-status at the ECS. Instead, we welcome our guests to a community of people experiencing similar challenges; meeting them where they are at.
Offering a variety of housing and support options, the ECS can ensure that appropriate, supportive environments are available to our guests. Programs will include on-site contingency management, OD prevention and education (as needed), low-barrier recovery meetings, a Community Outreach team who will provide meals, basic needs & connection to community resources, Mobile Medical and Mental Health Outreach and Restorative Practices and Response, among others.
By providing services to those who are working toward housing, it is our hope that the ECS will be successful in breaking the cycles of chronic homelessness, long-term instability, ongoing substance use, and disconnection from community resources by providing interventions within a high tolerance and supportive environment. It is our goal to rebuild trust between guests and the systems in place to serve them.
The goal is to not simply “get people off the streets” but to provide a comprehensive array of supports that assist people in achieving stability which allows them to move forward with their lives, regardless of their history. By providing shelter and support in a client-centered environment, the ECS engages clients to create an atmosphere of trust where opportunities for change can be discovered.