FAQ - Home



Frequently Asked Questions

How long can somebody stay?

  In most cases the client can stay in the shelter for a total of thirty days in one twelve month period. This rule is mandated by state law. 

Do you have to be referred by a social service agency?

   No. Although those who are referred to the shelter from the various service agencies are a majority of our clients, there are those that are self-referred.

Is there anybody that cannot come to stay at the shelter?

Yes. At this time we do not have facilities for single men. We cannot accept those clients who have used the shelter in the past calendar year. Nor will we allow clients move in who have had excessive rule violations, were disruptive, or who committed criminal offenses while at the shelter in the past. 

What if I am afraid of my ex?

The shelter is not a secure facility and we are not equipped to intervene in domestic violence or other dangerous situations. If you are in danger, call 911. Secure and discrete shelters are available in most areas and the police can provide transportation to them. 

Everything the client needs is free?

For the most part- Yes. The shelter provides the necessities such as food, baby items, basic toiletries, some school supplies for elementary age children, and some other items. The shelter also has case management services to assist the client with the search for permanent housing, employment, social services, child care, and other needs, which is also free to the client.However, the shelter obviously cannot provide luxury items, tobacco products, out of state transportation, or other non-essential items. After all, the Shepherd Place is an Emergency Shelter. 

What about people with medical conditions?

The shelter is handicapped accessible, and arrangements can be made for those with medical needs that are not overly severe. However, the shelter is not a nursing facility, and cannot provide nursing care. If a client needs professional medical assistance, there are other facilities available in the area. 

I've heard you have a lot of rules, what's that about?

 We do have rules and they are enforced, and violations can result in the client receiving a 'write up'. Some are dictated by state law, as with the rules about smoking in the building. Others are safety issues, such as not allowing children in the kitchen. While other rules have evolved over time through our interactions with clients and matters that have come up. If you feel a rule is unfair or would like something explained, the shelter manager is available to talk about it. 

What about write-ups, how do I get one? What does it mean?

 As with any organization that has a diverse staff as we do, some of our staff are more particular with rule enforcement than others, such as clients performing their daily and weekly chores. Some staff will give warnings and second chances to get things done, others do not. It is given to the discretion of the staff and the situation as to minor rule violations. However, serious infractions, again, such as smoking in a bedroom, will usually result in a write-up.A client who receives several minor or one major write-up may be dismissed from the shelter and possibly prohibited from returning in the future. 

Chores? What kind of chores will I be expected to do?

The assigned chores are for the benefit of the clients and promote the overall cleanliness and functionality of the shelter. Chores such as cleaning the bathroom the client uses, keeping the kitchen and dining areas clean, cooking a nightly meal, and looking after the common areas are assigned by bedroom.Of course if a client is disabled or has several small children other arrangements and reassignment of chores can be considered. 

Can the shelter help me get a job?

To some degree, yes. The shelter has the local newspapers delivered every day, it is located on a central bus route for transportation, the case manager can use the computer and fax machine to assist in the application process, and other resources are available to help. However, you will still have to get the job and go to work. 

How about babysitting?

The shelter cannot provide child care services. That being said, most clients can and do find someone who is willing to watch their children when the need arises. 

How large of a family can stay at the shelter?

 As long as the family is all related, the number of children is dependant only on the number of beds available at the time of intake. 

How many cars can we park there when we stay?

Our parking is limited so each client is limited to one licensed and insured vehicle on the property during their stay. Other parking is available and arrangements can be made at the time of intake. 

Does the shelter have a religious affiliation or preference?

No. Even though a Catholic Priest founded the Shepherd Place, the shelter is not affiliated with any religious organization. However, several local churches do support the shelter and its programs, and several of them will provide transportation to services and other functions. Inquires can be made at intake as to what is available.

Can my special friend come visit me at the shelter?

Due to concerns with privacy and the safety of other clients visitors are limited to the 'public' areas of the shelter and outside. However, restaurants are nearby and within walking distance and you are welcome to take advantage of them. Visitors are not permitted in bedrooms. 

I'm really picky about my food, do I have to eat the main meals with everybody else?

Special consideration is given for dietary restrictions based on medical or religious needs. However, the shelter is not in a position to cater to finicky eaters. Most likely, there will be something available that you can eat. 

As far as donations go, what do you need besides food and laundry detergent?

 Almost anything can be put to use by the shelter itself or its clients, see the Wish List for more about that, but some of the more unusual non-food type items the shelter will accept are things like "First Night" passes, local bus tickets, gift certificate cards to various stores, boxed greeting cards, and even outdoor play sets for children. 

OK, what don't you need or what can't you accept as a donation?

The list is longer than you would expect.The shelter is prohibited by law from accepting used or open toiletries, underwear, or baby items that cannot be sterilized.The shelter is limited by space as to when and if it can accept furniture, large amounts of clothing, vehicles, major appliances, and other bulky items.The shelter has also had to turn down donations of pets, airline miles, satellite dishes, tickets to Broadway shows, and other items that are of no use to its homeless clients, the shelter itself, or even its staff.