Although we are now still experiencing mild weather during the day, temperatures continue to drop further on November Erie nights. Community Shelter Services is one of several professional Emergency Shelters and housing programs in Erie that often fill to capacity.
Erie County has identified a need for more space for those in need, specifically in 2 areas: for women and children, and for individual adults during severe winter weather. “Our Neighbors Place” will open its 7th season later this month to provide additional shelter in local churches on a rotating basis, utilizing volunteers from multiple congregations to meet the needs of the homeless during the cold months of winter.
“Our Neighbors Place” provides cots and meals for up to 75 people each night and has been operating since 2012. The Overflow Shelter operates independently from any specific agency or church affiliation, but volunteers from multiple church denominations are taking ownership of the coordination function. Community Shelter Services provided stewardship during inception and first 6 years and now at the request of the participating churches, that role will be carried out by EUMA.
Coordinators from participating churches oversee the nightly operations, resource development, volunteer scheduling, and meal preparation. For further information please contact Angie Eagle at 814-790-3059, or speak with onsite Coordinators Pat Tracy or Dale Sweet. This is a heartwarming development with people coming together each winter to address a community need. Our Neighbor’s Place officially opens Wednesday, November 21th at the First Presbyterian Church of the Covenant (250 West 7th Street in Erie.)
Unfortunately, in Erie County there are more people that are poor and living in poverty than the state and national average. Children are the hardest hit and the number of children living in poverty is increasing.
According to Erie Vital Signs, 25% of Erie County children live in poverty, within the city the number rises to 38%. Community Shelter Services is addressing this community need by adding 18 beds for women and children in our Emergency Shelter this fall. CSS programs assist over 250 people nightly including individual men and women, veterans, as well as families with children, and has been helping Erie’s poor and homeless for 45 years. CSS programs focus on providing housing to those in need and connecting people with support services that lead to self-sufficiency and stability.
Community Shelter Services is the largest provider of homeless shelter in the Erie area. CSS is a registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization that provides housing and support services for individuals and families experiencing homelessness. We provide: emergency shelter, transitional housing, permanent housing, support services, referrals, advocacy, and community education.