PARKERSBURG - Funds from the United Way Alliance of the Mid-Ohio Valley provide operational money for the House To Home day shelter for the homeless, a vital lifeline for those in need.
The shelter is located at 413 Eighth St., Parkersburg. Operated by the Parkersburg Area Coalition for the Homeless, the shelter was founded in 1989 and incorporated in 1990.
"We provide computer usage for job and housing searches, laundry and shower facilities, food and clothing. We use the United Way funds to keep this shelter open," said Tandra Mays, president of the Parkersburg Area Coalition for the Homeless and House to Home director.
Photo by Pamela Brust
The Parkersburg Area Coalition for the Homeless operates the House to Home shelter at 413 Eighth St., Parkersburg.
The center offers snacks, drinks and a calm atmosphere along with assistance through referral services as needed.
"In a day we usually see 20 people in here depending on the weather and time of year, we have serviced almost 50 a day at times. Some of the folks are the same, but almost on a weekly basis we have new ones coming in," Mays said, adding the clients include single men, women and families.
"These are people who are down on their luck, they've lost their job, lost their homes and that's what puts them on the street," Mays said. "Many of us live week to week and day to day, so it could be any of us that might find ourselves in their situation. The homeless live minute to minute. Many of them leave here with job applications, they are out there pounding the pavement trying to find a job, they may have relatives caring for their children so their family may be split up and that makes it hard on the provider. Then depression sets in, they feel worthless," she said.
For more information on the Parkersburg Area Coalition for the Homeless and House to Home shelter go to the website at www.pach89.org.
For volunteer opportunities, contact the shelter, 413 Eighth St., Parkersburg, by calling 304-893-5352. Donations can be dropped off at the shelter during operational hours of 8 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
The shelter sees a lot of veterans suffering from various medical and other problems coming through as well, Mays said.
"We offer referral services whether that be medical, mental health services, the Department of Health and Human Services. We have a list of landlords that offer housing. Whatever their needs are, we try to meet that need, and if we can't, we find somebody that can. All of our services we provide here are totally free of charge," she said.
The shelter, which is nonprofit, operates on donations, occasional grants and United Way funding. The shelter is open from 8 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
"We have food here, nobody leaves hungry," Mays said.
The shelter is always looking for volunteers and for help with fundraising. Donations can be dropped off at the shelter during operational hours. Mays said summer clothing and shoes for men, women and children are always needed as well as personal hygiene items.
"There is a stigma out there about the homeless. We welcome anyone who would like to visit, tour the shelter, and stand back and listen and hopefully learn something. All it takes is the bat of an eye and you could have nowhere to sleep," Mays said.
House To Home's service area is Wood, Doddridge, Jackson, Pleasants, Ritchie and Wirt counties in West Virginia, and Washington County in Ohio.
Speakers are available to talk to groups. To schedule a speaker, or for more information on volunteer opportunities call the shelter at 304-893-5352.