Queen Anne’s County is holding a public information meeting at 6 p.m. at the Percy Thomas Center (Kent Island Senior Center) to explain plans for expansion of the transitional housing center and homeless shelter at 325 State Street in Stevensville. Haven Ministries will give a presentation regarding their programs.
Haven Ministries, Inc. is a nonprofit organization with volunteers from 15 local churches. Volunteers and staff operate; a winter homeless shelter at Kent Island Methodist Church’s fellowship hall, a transitional housing program on State Street, and emergency food pantry and thrift store also on Kent Island.
The winter homeless shelter typically houses between one to 15 people each winter night, including women, children, men, and entire families. The shelter is open from 6 p.m. to 6:30 a.m. The winter night-time shelter offers meals and clothing and other essential services such as County Ride tickets.
All shelter guests are given drug and Breathalyzer tests, are cleared through the sex offenders’ registry and go through a criminal background check to insure the safety of other guests and volunteers.
Krista Pettit, executive director of New Haven Ministries said, “A case manager works with each guest to help them connect to community resources so that we can move them on to affordable housing.”
The transitional housing program at the small State Street house has been providing a home environment for families for four years. To date, all of those clients have been women and children, which statistically have the highest demand for housing in Queen Anne’s County.
“For the past couple of years, our board has worked alongside local county leaders to design and build a facility, which would not only provide for the immediate need of shelter, but also help people get back on solid ground, find employment and begin the journey toward self-sufficiency,” said Pettit. “The new building will replace the current one story house with an 8,623 square foot, two-story facility. This new building will include a children’s play area, family rooms, two computer areas, commercial style kitchen, laundry room, meeting/counseling spaces, storage areas, live-in staff efficiency unit, and an office.”
The new building will have areas to hold educational classes, financial counseling courses, Bible studies, and other programs. With new computer areas clients may take online classes, search for jobs and create resumes. The high-quality case management services, which already connect clients with area resources and jobs, will continue in the new building, Pettit said.
The property, existing dwelling, architectural design and construction documents were funded Primarily by Community Development Block Grants. Funding to build the new facility will also come from grants.
Anyone with questions may call Krista Pettit of Haven Ministries, Inc. at 410-739-4363.