It took about a decade, but the SIREN / Eaton Shelter
has finally found a new home big enough to support the growing agency and their growing clientele. The shelter for survivors of domestic violence and homeless families in Eaton County serves about 2,000 people each year, and with a staff of 20, their 4,400 square foot office Masonic Temple location was bursting at the seams.
"When SIREN started, we were a small, agency with just two staff," says SIREN Executive Director Jessica Edel-Harrelson. "When we moved out we had the the entire floor and then part of the floor above us."
In Oct., SIREN finally got the chance to stretch out its legs in the new 12,000 square foot space on Robinson St. in Charlotte. The agency made the move with the help of volunteers who donated more than $10,000 worth of time and services to the relocation.
"We had an army of volunteer in here every day," Edel-Harrelson says. "We owe a big thank you to the community because the move would not have been possible without the volunteers."
The new location allows SIREN's case managers to have separate offices, creating more privacy for interviews with clients. It also includes a new area for clients to shop for donated clothes, and a nicer reception area to welcome them. In addition to creating a better atmosphere for clients, the considerably larger office will also save SIREN $8,000 to $10,000 per year.
Saving money is key for SIREN, an agency which has lost funding over the last few years despite dramatic growth in size and community need. Edel-Harrelson says they are always looking for donations to help out including monetary gifts, gas cards, seasonal clothing, diapers and more. Volunteers are also appreciated. SIREN continues to grow with the needs of the community, adding two new case workers over the past year and half.
Source: Jessica Edel-Harrelson, SIREN/Eaton Shelter
Writer: Natalie Burg, Development News Editor