HAZARD — Starting on Nov. 1, the Corner Haven Crisis Center (also known as the Homeless Shelter) in downtown Hazard will provide emergency shelter only. This means the shelter will only be open through the night. The facility will close after breakfast and reopen at dinner-time each day.
This marks a change from providing both temporary emergency shelter and longer-term transitional housing for men and women at the shelter. The announcement was made last week by Corner Haven. Similar actions have been considered in the past. However, it now appears that the transition to an emergency shelter is inevitable. Lack of funding is responsible for the shelter’s change in services.
Interim Executive Director Adrienne Bush said in a statement released by Corner Haven, “While we serve a critical role in the social safety net, with the spending down of stimulus funds and other uncertain government funding, we currently cannot afford to provide transitional housing.”
Corner Haven operates through Hazard Perry County Community Ministries, which is an organization that was founded in 1976 to tackle unmet human needs in the local community. Community Ministries opened Corner Haven in 1993. Over the past 23 years the shelter has provided thousands of nights of shelter, food boxes, hot meals and financial assistance, with the goal of helping people lead self-sufficient lives.
“While we serve a critical role in the social safety net, with the spending down of stimulus funds and other uncertain government funding, we currently cannot afford to provide transitional housing,” said Adrienne Bush.
As of Nov. 1, meals at the shelter will consist of dinner, a simple breakfast and packed lunches for emergency shelter participants. A minimal number of staff members will be present during the day. Four job positions at Corner Haven will be eliminated because of this change in procedures.
“This restructuring enables the shelter to stay open, rather than shut down completely. It also keeps enough infrastructure in place for our services to grow with support from our community and a clearer funding picture from our federal, state and local governments,” explained Bush.
For the time being, hope for the area’s homeless and for expanded services at Corner Haven is in the community’s hands. “This change will provide churches, civic groups, and local businesses with the opportunity to participate on a more meaningful level,” added Bush. “We are working with current partners and seeking new ones to help provide evening meals and other financial and in-kind support.”
There is no word at the moment on where those depending on the shelter plan to go once the doors begin closing during the daytime. For more information on ways to help Corner Haven and Community Ministries, contact Adrienne Bush at 606-439-1122.
Sam Neace can be reached at 606-629-3243 or on Twitter @HazardHerald.