Pinnacle Resource Center,
“A Hand up, not a Hand Out.”
The Scott County Homeless Shelter will soon be changing it’s name to better fit the already in place services and resources it has to offer.
Pinnacle Resource Center will be the new name of the Scott County Homeless Shelter. Ray Perry, Executive Director, believes the new name is a better fit for the current services offered inside of the family oriented organization. When the building opened its doors in 2009 the only service offered was temporary emergency housing to the economically disadvantaged. Now in 2017, the center offers a community thrift store, food pantry, six to nine months of case management, life skills education, employment support and guidance, family housing suites, and a soon to open day center.
Perry described the day center as an emergency place that people could come to for showers and to do laundry if their utilities had been shut off.
“People can be in here washing their clothes and taking a shower, while we are in the next room trying to figure out how to get their utilities turned back on,” Perry said. The day center is set to open November 8, and will come with the addition of another family suite at the center.
The community wide thrift store is open to the public, and runs strictly from greatly appreciated gently used donations. The clothing inside the store is also beneficial to people who come in lacking the clothes they need to wear daily. All money made from sales in the store goes directly to client services.
“If someone is staying here, and can’t afford boots, for example, they need for work we are going to get them.” Perry said. We use the funds from the thrift store to help with these kinds of client services.
The center’s food pantry, is one of the only client choice pantrys in the state, it offers a variety of food from each food group, including meat, and food is distributed weekly.
“People get to come in here, and choose what they want to eat from each section, rather than just getting food in a box,” Perry said. “Client choice helps ensures the food provided doesn’t go to waste, and it gives us time to love on everyone a little bit, and help them feel like they too are a part of the community”
“A hand up, not a hand out,” is the new motto for the center, and Perry says that is exactly what he and his staff are doing with individuals that come through their doors.
“The number one goal here is of course to get them housed,” Perry said. “We also want to get to the bottom of what got them here, and try to fix it whether it be drug addiction, a fight with family, or maybe they just lost their job.”
Repairing relationships is a part of Perry’s plan to help repair the homeless problem of the county.
“A lot of times people come in here, and they arent’ speaking to someone in their family for some reason.” Perry said. “We sit down with the whole family, and we get to the bottom of it.”
Before the staff are able to get to the bottom of the problem, Perry explained that clients go through an intake process. Once all their needs are assessed, then staff go to work at identifying needs, allocating resources, helping them to find jobs and transportation, formulating a reasonable budget, and making sure their needs are taken care of all throughout the process. A service that has recently been made available to clients at the shelter is healthcare and mental healthcare, if necessary. Perry has developed a partnership with Mountain People’s Health Council, so that clients can be treated while staying there.
Perry added that they hold all clients accountable while they are staying in the center.
“As an example, once they are working we help them make a budget they can live from, and they will have to hold back bill money each week when they get paid while they stay here. It’s just like they were living on their own, except for they don’t pay us anything they just save the money,” Perry said. “We might help them with a rent deposit, but then we would ask them to save up enough money to get their lights turned on.”
Six to nine months of case management is given to each person who leaves the center. Perry explained that someone will call the individual and find out how things are going, what is working, and what is not working for them. “They can expect to get a call that will last about 45 minutes, because we want to make sure everything is going ok before we hang up.” Perry said.
Even with all of these services in tow, Perry has more plans on the horizon. He hopes to have a soup kitchen within three to five years from now.
Perry and his staff are dedicated to helping the economically disadvantaged people of Scott county and surrounding counties through these services.
“We are doing surgery down here, “Perry said. No more band- aids, it’s time to fix the problem.”