Mjr. Ralph Hansen
HATI Coordinators presented Mjr. Hansen with a recognition award at the January 10, 2019, meeting. Mjr. Ralph is responsible for the idea to start the rotating shelter project in Delta County. He has been the driving force and contined support for Hope at the Inn since the planning stages in January of 2013. HATI has been operating from November thru April since the fall of 2013, providing about 1,000 bednights for each shelter season. Mjr. Hansen retires from The Salvation Army March 2019. (Pictured with Exec. Committee members Sara Larson and Deb Trombly)
The shelter's mission is to provide support for those who are homeless in Delta County, Michigan, through the cooperative efforts of an interfaith coalition and various social service agencies, by offering a safe emergency shelter and an opportunity for these individuals to choose a path of successful transition to independence.
Faith-based rotating emergency homeless shelters have been meeting the needs of individuals who are homeless and displaced in communities across the country for decades.
Hope at the Inn (HATI) was developed in 2013 utilizing the knowledge and experience gained from similar shelters already in existence. In addition, HATI Boards and Committees are working to ensure the HATI community is one in which no individual who is homless is without an opportunity to obtain emergency shelter, suitable housing, and the services and the support essential to becoming self-sufficient. Hope at the Inn will strive to honor the dignity and diversity of each person served.
HATI's underlying goal is to enable Guests to find or maintain employment, secure housing, and save funds for those expenses.
To help Guests work toward independence, member congregations provide two meals per day, personal hygiene kits, and transportation. For the safety of Guests and Volunteers, the following are conditions for admission to the shelter: a personal search, alcohol breathalyzer testing, and a criminal background check.
In this setting, Volunteers must bear witness to Christ’s love to children of God by welcoming Guests, treating them with warmth and respect, listening to them with a sincere generosity of spirit, and treating them as brothers and sisters in Christ, worthy of our concern.
Churches and Volunteers must seek a balance between ensuring safety and preserving dignity, between compassionate care-giving and encouraging responsibility, and between maintaining authority and allowing personal choices.
HATI boards and committees shall encourage communication and input from participating churches and volunteers. HATI is not an agency of trained professional social workers, but a collaboration of churches and individuals who wish to make a difference.