W.C. Atkinson Shelter and Atkinson Project
22 bed emergency and temporary shelter for men. The emergency shelter is a source of food, shelter, referral and supportive services for those who have lost most or all of their support systems. More than 200 men are sheltered annually.
The residents are provided an address and telephone number, and a stable and caring environment which enhances their ability to gain employment. This process begins with case management (including, but not limited to, individual goal setting) provided by Building Bridges of Chester County. Case management is loosely defined as participation in any structured environment that addresses the causative factors of the individual's homelessness. The residence sometimes also receive case management services from the VAMC treatment programs, Riverside's out patient program, and Open Arms steps program.
Two homes adjacent to the 'Atkinson Center' have been rehabilitated into transitional housing. Three men (one man per bedroom) share each of the homes. Men that are moving toward self-sufficiency, yet need additional support (like time to build up their credit) are invited to transfer from the shelter to the transitional homes. The men work, pay a rental fee and usually continue their meals at the shelter.
Three townhouses built by AMSCI and located one block from the Atkinson Center are supportive homes to eight men. These men either work or on long term disability. They continue supportive services with an assigned case manager and an on-site facilities manager. Although these homes are 'permanent housing' we desire to see the men live completely independent and attain home ownership or an independent living house or apartment.