Q) What criteria must a resident meet to be admitted to Benjamin’s House? A) All residents must complete a pre-screening interview prior to being accepted into the program as well as a background check. Residents are required to be able to care for themselves and/or their family, as well as be mentally stable and able to successfully reside in a communal home. Those with an excessively violent background or with any sexual assault history will not be considered.
Q) Can the victims of domestic violence and other abusive situations come to the shelter? A) No. The shelter does not have the security necessary to provide the required safety for victims of domestic violence. However, Benjamin’s House provides referrals to the appropriate organizations to help assist abuse victims get the help and support needed.
Q) Does the shelter house people under the influence of drugs or alcohol? A) No. Benjamin's House strictly enforces a zero tolerance policy regarding drugs and alcohol. Any resident found under the influence will be asked to leave.
Q) Does Benjamin’s House allow people to stay for just a couple of nights? A) No. Benjamin’s House is a program-based shelter requiring each resident to develop an individual case plan to help achieve successful independent living. This includes twice weekly 1:1 meetings with a case worker and other support programs to assist them in securing jobs and housing. Benjamin’s House does not accept people who need a place to stay for just one or two nights.
Q) Can residents become repeat visitors? A) Admissions are limited to one time in a twelve-month period.
Q) How do people get in contact with Benjamin’s House when they are in need? A) Potential residents can be referred by another person or organization or call (715) 736-2437 to set up an interview. Everyone will be required to go through an interview process with staff before they can become a resident.
Q) Who helps residents look for employment? A) The shelter employs a full time case manager who will work with individuals on employement search and resources for housing.
Q) How many people can stay at the shelter at one time? A) There are 17 rooms that can house up to 24 adults and up to 30 individuals including children.
Q) Are residents required to do chores while living at Benjamin’s House? A) Yes. Residents have basic cleaning and housing duties they must complete as part of their stay. They are also required to do their own laundry, however machines and detergent are provided to all residents.
Q) Is there a curfew? A) Yes. Adults have a curfew of 11pm to be in the building and midnight to be in their rooms for the night. Children under 12 have a bedtime of 8:30 pm, while teens are required to be in bed by 10 pm.
Q) Are meals provided? A) Yes. An evening community dinner is provided by individuals, churches, and civic organizations who prepare and serve meals for the residents. Additionally, there is a fully stocked pantry and freezer. Residents are welcome to use any of the food provided.
Q) Is religious counseling required for residents? A) No. Benjamin’s House is a secular organization and does not provide religious guidance. However, churches can and do provide outreach and offer to take residents to church services or bible studies.
Q) How many staff work at the shelter at any given time? A) We are a 24/7 facility. As such, there is always at least one staff member on duty. The Executive Director oversees general operations and a Case Manager works directly with residents to assist with their personal goals and plans.
Q) How can you personally help Benjamin’s House? A) There are many opportunities to get involved including fundraising, providing transportation, tutoring, cooking meals, performing clerical duties, teaching skills to residents (i.e. budgeting), or even painting and cleaning. The shelter operates on a very tight operating budget and all monetary donations are greatly appreciated! The donation of household items including cleaning supplies, toilet paper, bleach, paper toweling, and laundry detergent are always needed. Other items such as gift certificates for haircuts and gas are a welcome gift to our residents.