Ending Homelessness One Life At A Time
Off the Cuff with Donna Rongholt-Migan, executive director at The Cathedral Center
How does The Cathedral Center help women and families transition into permanent housing?
Our mission is to provide a safe environment for women and families while working to end homelessness one life at a time. We provide emergency shelter for up to eight families and 32 women each night. In addition, when funding is available, we can offer overflow shelter for single women during extreme weather. The second part of our mission is ending homelessness. Our case management support staff provides comprehensive assessments and works with clients to create Individual Plan for Independence plans. In 2012, our case management staff helped 97% of families who came here to get to a safe place and over half of those families entered permanent and supportive housing options.
What is the Womenâ€™s Independence Program?
The Womenâ€™s Independence Program is a very small in-house program that is completely maintained by private donations. We really need more support for it. The Wisconsin Department of Children and Families has an emergency assistance (EA) program available to families when they find themselves in a housing crisis, but there is no such program available for women unless they have children with them. So the Cathedral Center created the Womenâ€™s Independence Program to help unaccompanied women find housing.
The Cathedral Center has 1,000 volunteers throughout the year. What are some of
your volunteer opportunities?
We have so many. We have a group of disabled adults that comes in once a week to sort hygiene supplies for the kits we give to everyone when they come in. We are always accepting donations for travel-sized hygiene items people receive from hotels. Our biggest group of volunteers is our hospitality volunteers. They come in as a group. They purchase the food themselves and prepare a small meal or a hearty snack. We also have volunteers who sit at the reception desk and answer phone calls. Beyond that, people will come in and help with things like rĂ©sumĂ© writing, job applications and interview preparation.
To learn more about The Cathedral Center, Inc., visit cathedral-center.org or call 414-831-0394.