The Tioga County Homeless Initiative
“Sharing God’s love through open doors.”
This is the purpose of the Tioga County Homeless Initiative. They seek to provide a warm welcome, a clean bed, a comfortable environment, and a warm and nutritious evening meal and breakfast for those experiencing homelessness. This mission started back in 2011 as a way to provide a warm, safe, and caring environment with no discrimination against race, gender, or sexual orientation.
They provide many referral services in addition to a shelter, including counseling for mental health, veteran services, and drug and alcohol services. They also provide case management services to help them find housing and jobs.
“We want to help you, not just house you,” said Abby Thorborg, Director of Operations. “We want to help you get back on your feet.”
With the current pandemic, they have had to overcome many challenges, and are seeking the public’s help in this mission. For example, they are in need of a bigger space – a larger building with more beds so they won’t have to turn people away. With everyone inside the shelter during the day to abide by the social distancing orders, things can get a little hectic. Children of both the residents and the employees are doing online schooling during the day, adding to the need for a bigger space.
They currently have half of the money for the new building raised, but are in desperate need of funds for the other half. With winter coming soon and the pandemic causing many people to be out of work, they NEED more space to house people.
In addition to monetary donations, they are also in need of food and cleaning supplies. Since they are no longer able to have churches/volunteers make meals for them because of the social distancing requirements, they use their trailer as a food pantry so each person can make their own meals.
Usually, the First Presbyterian Church in Wellsboro hosts an “Alternative Christmas Fair,” which encourages generosity to charity organizations as a gift for someone on your list.
Here’s how it works:
You simply make a donation to a charity (in this case, the Homeless Initiative) in a person’s name, and Abby will give you a card to give to that person, explaining that the donation was made in their name. This allows you to give someone a meaningful gift that helps others and eliminates the need for physical gifts. Due to the pandemic, the Alternative Christmas Fair will be online. You can view this information on their website – tiogahomeless.org. Additional contact information for the shelter is listed below.
Address: 2580 Charleston Road Mansfield, PA 16933
Phone: 570-724-9001 or 570-439-9383
Hours: Monday-Friday 9am-5pm