The Refuge

The Refuge

Homelessness is not pretty.

It is never easy, uncomplicated or peaceful.

In the crisis of homelessness, The Refuge – EUMA’s emergency shelter for homeless families with children - seeks to do several things:

  • Provide safe shelter
  • Supply basic necessities – food, clothing, etc.
  • Help families map a plan to self-sufficiency
  • And, most importantly, keep the family together

The Refuge is the only emergency shelter in Erie that can keep the entire family unit together by housing them in their own room.  This key element helps to provide some stability to children and families during the difficulties of homelessness.

The Refuge can house up to nine families at a time.  During their 30- to 45-day stay, families are empowered through assessment and advising, referrals to community resources, and personal attention to strive toward independence and permanent housing. Particular attention is given to the children at The Refuge, helping them work through the stress and transition that homelessness brings.  Last year, The Refuge sheltered 83.6% of all children in Erie's homeless-shelter system and 63% of the homeless families.

Who we serve:
Homeless families with children:
• two-parent families
• mom and child(ren)
• dad and child(ren)

How we serve:
• Assist families in their progress toward self-sufficiency in personal housing
• Help provide basic necessities such as clothing, food, personal supplies
• Help to secure necessary paperwork such as Social Security card, Photo ID, birth certificate
• Case Manager works with family to identify needs and establish goals
• Assessment
• Link families to community resources such as: job search; employment; assistance to stabilize income/benefits; education - adult & children

How you can help:

• Household necessities - twin sheet sets, blankets, towels, silverware, furniture, pots and pans
• Paper products - bath tissue, paper towels, facial tissue, plastic wrap, aluminum foil, storage bags
• Cleaning supplies and garbage bags
• Hygiene products

There are a number of ways to help this ministry through volunteer work, including: cleaning/light maintenance and childcare during life-skills classes. For more information, visit our Volunteer page or call The Refuge at (814) 454-6088.




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