Incorporated in 1996, Bisbee Coalition for the Homeless serves those who are homeless, on the verge of homelessness, in need of food, in need of advocacy to navigate the myriad of mazes that surround them in order to achieve self-sufficiency whether it is assistance for finding a job, behavioral health support, substance abuse issues, mental illness, or just a place to call home.
Up until July of 2016, BCH served as an emergency shelter for men providing them a bed, meals, and moral support. The men who used the shelter were required to leave the property every morning at 7:00 am and weren’t allowed to return until 4:30 pm. The staff included a part-time maintenance person who also helped prepare the meals, 3 resident managers who served to keep the shelter in order during the hours that the shelter had clients and an Executive Director, who managed the finances, wrote grant proposals, wrote and executed existing policies, interacted with the community, served as the spokesperson for the shelter, prepared reports for governing board and auditors, co-organized fundraisers and served as the final authority in the overall operation of the agency.
In July of 2016, after appropriating necessary funding, BCH added on to its existing facility and changed the whole dynamics of its operation. With the addition, BCH rebranded the name of the shelter from the Tin Town Men’s Shelter to the Tin Town Resource Center and was now able to offer shelter to women, men, and families with kids. It also no longer required its clients to leave the property in the morning to wander aimlessly in the local community, but allowed them to stay. It incorporated them into a program that required them to perform jobs at the shelter like grounds keeping, answering and directing incoming phone-calls, assisting in the kitchen with meals, operating and managing the center’s food pantry, maintaining and operating the center’s vehicle and watching the shelter overnight.
This program is monitored by the Executive Director and managed by a full-time case manager. In the program, clients are required to engage with a behavioral health agency for counseling, seek employment (if employable), seek permanent housing. The case manager serves as an advocate and helps each client who needs help prepare applications for employment, benefits, and legal matters. The case manager also monitors each client’s progress. Every 2 weeks, the clients are required to request an extension to stay in the program and at the shelter. Resident Manager’s, Case Manager, and the Executive Director collectively staff the client’s extension request and based on the client’s cooperation with staff, activity in seeking employment, housing and whether they performed well at their shelter job a decision to extend the client beyond 2 weeks is rendered. The center is currently experiencing an 85% success in assisting our clients back to self-sufficiency.