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Osanam Shelter

In: Social Issues

Submitted By Osanam453
Words 487
Pages 2
The Ozanam Center was originally established by the Diocese of Brownsville to house Central American political refugees. The Center was first named Casa Oscar Romero in honor of the martyred Archbishop of San Salvador, El
Salvador. As the conflict in that troubled region began to subside, so did the number of refugees. In 1995, the shelter gained its independent status as a non-profit organization and was named The Bishop E. San Pedro Ozanam Center and expended to serve anyone who needs temporary shelter. The Center currently serves mainly the Cameron County but many of our guests also arrive from the Willacy, Hidalgo Counties and other parts of the U.S and the World. The
Center provides a unique holistic Homeless Services Program, delivering emergency shelter, case management services, Food Pantry services, and Homeless Prevention services to the area's most vulnerable residents: needy families, run-away youth, the elderly, individuals with substance abuse problems, mental illness and other special needs. Most guests are self-referred or referred by local social service agencies, law enforcement and the community in general.

The Corporation, BISHOP ENRIQUE SAN PEDRO, OZANAM CENTER, Inc., operates exclusively for the charitable purpose of providing assistance to those in need by:

A) Providing temporary shelter and housing to homeless, regardless of sex, color, creed and national origin;
B) Offering referral to social services agencies and humanitarian encouragement;
C) Facilitating the involvement of community volunteers in center needs;
D) Providing information to the public about homelessness in the community.

The Shelter Homeless Services Program: includes short-term (30-day) Emergency Shelter, 3 hot meals, transportation vouchers and Homeless Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing services. The Shelter also serves as an emergency shelter during the hurricane and cold weather season. Eligibility requirements are similar to other homeless agencies across the country. The needs for shelter of our residents vary widely, but the basic need is always the same: a clean, safe place to stay, hot meals, and the goal to obtaining permanent housing. Most individuals stay at our shelter from an overnight stay to thirty days. In addition, extensions are given base on the individuals/families personal circumstance.

The Center can house and feed 200 clients. The Center is equipped with a kitchen and dining area. There are six separate family units, equipped with two bunk beds, a bathroom and a closet. The facility has also 3 large dormitories that can accommodate single men, women, and families. The dorms are approximately 30' X 50' and house single women and men and if needed families. All dorms are equipped with 30 bunk beds for approximately 60 people in each dormitory. There are also 2 individual bathrooms with showers and toilet stalls to serve 10 men and women at a time. In 2009 3 homes (3 bedrooms) were built on the premises to be used as transitional homes. These homes will allow families to stay up to 2 years.

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