Our Mission: To offer shelter, services and supportive housing to homeless and low-income people.
Our Philosophy is “A Hand Up, not a Handout.” As a private, nonprofit organization, Homeless Solutions has been helping the homeless and working poor in our community since 1983. We are unique in what we do. It’s not just about providing a healthy meal and a place to sleep. Our goal is to give those we serve the tools and surroundings they need to rebuild their lives and become self-sufficient. What sets our nonprofit apart from others is our Continuum of Housing options, including our Main Shelter, Transitional Housing Program (THP) for families, Mt. Kemble Home for senior women, Warming Center for street homeless in the winter, Promising Solutions campus for single women in shared housing, and the 74 Affordable Rental Housing units we own and operate.
We have a remarkable staff of over 50 individuals (full-time & part-time) and are governed by a Board of Trustees.
In 1983 religious and business leaders looked out from their buildings and saw people who had no home. They decided that in their community, all people should have shelter from the cold and food for the day. In May of 1983, Morris Shelter, Inc. was created as a private, not-for-profit, tax-exempt community benefit organization.
In the beginning, Morris Shelter, Inc. provided beds and meals to men in the Manse of the Presbyterian Church in Morristown. The Morris County Freeholders' Homeless Steering Committee had been asked to address the situation of homeless people in Morris Country. The committee's study led to the Freeholders approving the establishment on county property of an Emergency Shelter. Morris Shelter, Inc. opened a shelter at the building, formerly the Morris View Nursing Home facility, on West Hanover Avenue in Morris Township in 1985. At the time, a 10-year lease was signed between Morris Shelter, Inc. and Morris County Board of Chosen Freeholders for the use of the first floor of Building II.
After some renovations, Morris Shelter opened its doors at this new site in March of 1987, and with the help of volunteers and staff, the Shelter was able to provide 45 shelter beds, meals, clothing, and supportive services.
We have a robust history and continue to grow and expand our programs to serve the homeless in our community.
HERE IS AN OVERVIEW OF OUR GROWTH OVER THE YEARS...
Family Shelter Program (1994)
The Family Shelter Program, which now includes Case Management services, was expanded to the second floor of the shelter after the space was renovated. In 1995, educational services through the GED/Adult Basic course and a Life Skills Course were offered on-site.
The Safe Haven Program (1995)
The Safe Haven Program was started to help the homeless with a mental health diagnosis. This program continues to be a joint effort with the Mental Health Association of Morris County. Referral services to other agencies in the county are provided through Case Management.
Transitional Housing Program (1996)
The Transitional Housing Program (THP) provides ten apartments for working families. Case Management services and referral services are offered to the THP residents so employment and income goals are met, life skills are acquired, and savings goals for placement into independent housing are achieved.
Housing Development (1999)
We expanded our mission to address the lack of low-income housing and created our Housing Development division to increase the supply of housing people can afford through construction, renovation, and advocacy for low- and moderate-income people.
This new vision led to our new name, Homeless Solutions, Inc. (HSI), and strengthened our commitment to completing the continuum of care for the homeless from shelter to independent housing.
Family Supportive Housing Program (2005)
Also known as the Outreach Program, this program allows families that graduate THP the option to enroll. The program provides follow-up Case Management Services for two years following their exit. These families can continue to attend educational workshops and receive additional support as needed. The goal of this program is to ensure that they remain housed and do not cycle back into homelessness.
Mount Kemble Home (2013)
We merged with and assumed management and responsibility for The Mount Kemble Home in order to keep this housing available for senior women (62 and older) in our community. An extensive, $1.3M renovation of the Home was completed in January 2017. The historic Home now has two additional bedrooms for a total of 22, as well as many safety and mobility enhancements.
Warming Center (2018)
We initiated a Warming Center pilot program with the County of Morris to provide overnight shelter for street homeless individuals, not the population we traditionally serve in our program-based shelter. The center is located within our Main Shelter and can accommodate up to 18 people. Overnight guests have access to restrooms, as well as clothing and cold weather items. Dinner and breakfast, along with coffee, tea, and water, are provided during their stay.
Promising Solutions Campus (2020)
We launched Promising Solutions, a unique shared housing model using vacant houses on property owned by our valued partner, the County of Morris. It is an exciting collaboration with Family Promise of Morris County. Family Promise will provide Case Management, and HSI will serve as the Property Manager and oversee the renovations to the houses (which are being done by Morris Habitat for Humanity—our first project with them). The campus includes nine houses and will provide permanent housing for homeless and at-risk single women. The campus is ideally located close to many community resources and public transportation. It will eventually accommodate 32 residents. The homes need renovations to the kitchens, bathrooms, and floors, among other improvements. The first home was occupied in early December 2020, just in time for the holidays, making it an even more memorable moment. The project completion is expected by the end of 2021.
Next Level Shelter Expansion (2021)
This project will provide twice as much space for a new Kitchen and Dining Room, allowing larger volunteer groups. It will also result in a new permanent Winter Warming Center with showers and bathrooms. Also included in this expansion project is the opening of our Alcohol & Drug Counseling Center. The project is expected to be completed by the end of 2021.