Sojourner House homeless shelter looks to return to pre-COVID service hours April 1

The Sojourner House homeless shelter in Eau Claire is coming up on one full year of providing 24-hour services for those in need.
Published: Feb. 22, 2021 at 5:57 PM CST
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -The state’s subzero temperatures are leaving homeless shelters overcrowded and overwhelmed.

“Currently we’re running about 75, last week we were in the high 90′s up near 100,” says Sojourner House coordinator, Kiana Schoen.

Forcing the Sojourner House location on Barstow Street to temporarily reopen to offer 24-hour service for three days, to accommodate overflow from its larger facility on Claremont Ave.

Schoen says with the frigid temps hopefully behind us, the shelter is looking to move back to their pre-covid hours April 1, solely providing a night-by-night shelter.

“People will be able to come in to our facility and check in at 7p.m. and they will stay overnight have meals, and showers are provided, laundry,” Schoen says.

Schoen says they’re pushing a more service-based model, working to get Eau Claire’s homeless population back in permanent housing, as soon as possible.

“Now that we’re trying to bring in more resources, and just really actively sitting down with people, on an individual basis and making plans for them, we want to push back at that and see those numbers decrease as quickly as we can.” says Schoen.

Schoen recognizes community help is the only safety net some of their clients have.

“It’s important from us, from Catholic Charities to say we are grateful and we feel supported by our community, and I think that’s exactly what we need to do to come together, to deal with the issue of homelessness in this community, because it really is a community issue,” says Schoen.

Catholic Charities and the Sojourner House say they are always looking for volunteers to help out around the facility.

“If theres people who even want to help out with serving meals, there are nights when we don’t have people come in so then it kind of falls on staff and maybe we can get some guests to help out with that,” says Schoen.

Click here for a volunteer application, Schoen says you can also reach out to her via email for volunteer opportunites as well.

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