The Housing Action Team explores and supports ways to provide transitional housing to our most vulnerable community members. A successful example of such housing is SafePlace, which is now a program of Unity Shelter. The first micro shelters that are now used in the SafePlace program were originally conceived and constructed under the auspices of the Housing Action Team.
SafePlace provides transitional housing in micro shelters placed on the properties of faith-based organizations. The initial SafePlace site, Safe Camp, was launched at the First Congregational United Church of Christ in July 2019.
The goal of SafePlace is to assist individuals, couples, and families in housing transitions by providing a safe and legal environment for temporary housing. Micro shelters are low-cost, one room, wood framed, heated, portable structures constructed by local contractors with donated labor. Participants have access to basic services including porta-potties, garbage pick-up, electricity, and, at some locations, cooking facilities.
SafePlace welcomes, values, and respects unhoused persons as fellow human beings and members of our community. SafePlace participants sign a Code of Conduct and agree to responsibilities to move into and remain in SafePlace housing. Each SafePlace resident is connected with a case worker to help them on their journey to a healthy, more stable life.
On June 29, 2022, the Housing Action Team sponsored a webinar titled “Safe Shelter through Collaborative Care”, which focused on the moving and eye-opening story of SafePlace. Watch the recording below to learn more about this unique transitional housing program.