THE THINGS WE TAKE FOR GRANTED . . . .
....are things that are so needed, welcomed and appreciated by someone who has no home
A Safe & Secure Place to Sleep
The Sleep Center -- a joint effort of the City of Walla Walla and the Walla Walla Alliance for the Homeless -- was opened May 2017. The shelter provides a safe place to sleep, as well as a place where clients can store their belongings during the day. The Sleep Center opens before dark and is staffed by Alliance volunteers until 10 p.m. Security is onsite until 9 a.m. when the clients of The Sleeping Center depart. Currently there are about 40 people using the Sleep Center each night.
Exit Homelessness -
A Way Forward
How does one move from just having a place to sleep to the next stage – to having a home? Let’s face it….to “exit” homelessness people often need to remove many barriers.
To facilitate the transition, an ambitious project was created known as The Exit Homelessness Program. Designed and implemented by the Alliance, it opened January 2018 in the basement of City Hall. Through goal setting, Alliance volunteers help clear away whatever obstacles might be keeping the participants from a more stable lifestyle.
Volunteers and staff assist participants in obtaining identification, qualifying for benefits, finding health care, resolving legal or financial issues, accessing education, or completing housing and employment applications. Computers are available for job searches and resume preparation.
For those experiencing homelessness, a shower provides a way to get clean, improve their self-image and restore their dignity. They also look better, smell better, and have a better chance of acceptance by employers or landlords. Yet there are few places where someone who is homeless can shower.
SHOWERS ARE TEMPORARILY SUSPENDED DURING THE COVID EPIDEMIC
The Alliance offers three options for showers. Those who reside at the Sleep Center can shower any evening. Those who participate in the Exit Homelessness program can shower on Mondays and Wednesdays. Our mobile shower operates 10 to 1 on Fridays next to the free lunch at New Beginnings Church, 11th and Main.
How can you receive mail or manage official communication or even fill out the most basic application forms when you have no mailing address This is an issue faced daily by those experiencing homelessness. The Walla Walla Alliance for the Homeless is pleased to provide mailboxes free of charge for homeless Walla Walla citizens. The boxes are located at 4th & Birch, behind the Christian Aid Center. Applications are available at Exit Homelessness.
Karen, 23, with her girlfriend Rebecca set a high standard for dysfunctional couplehood at the Sleeping Center until Rebecca was expelled for violence last fall. Rebecca expected Karen to follow her out of the camp, but Karen elected to stay. Today Karen works full-time at PDQ and lives in supportive housing. She biked by to tell us she’s clean and sober, four months today. “I don’t even smoke weed anymore,” she says.