Shelter Program resources.

Lewis County Shelter Program can provide assistance to struggling families. Using money raised from the community and volunteers, services are focused on providing food, energy bill and rent help, and basic needs to residents that are struggling. While all resources are limited, some of the main programs are known as HEN - Housing and Essential Needs as well as referrals to DHS, and more information is below.

Free food and meals are available, using a combination of items from a pantry, congregate and home delivery to the homebound. Donations from supermarkets and restaurants are combined with food drives, and all the goods, such as perishable items, boxes of groceries, and more are passed out to people that are struggling.

There are home delivery services in Lewis County, and volunteers from charities such as Shelter can deliver meals to the homebound, such as disabled and elderly. There may be a weekly supply of frozen meals or holiday items , and volunteers also provide a friendly face and check up on the senior citizen person.

Food pantries help people that are facing a financial crisis. Locations may give families nutritious perishable fruits and vegetables. There may also be canned goods, non-perishable groceries, paper items, and toiletries. Everything available from Lewis County Shelter Program depends on donations, government funding and its partner groups, and applicants are served first come and served.

Homeless Prevention is paid from government resources such as ESG and the Department of Housing and Community Development. There will be short term financial assistance and case management for tenants or homeowners facing eviction or foreclosure.

Some of what will be offered to qualified low income families includes one time rent help and funds for utility bills. All of this will be very limited, and in some cases loans are used. Applicants to the Shelter Program will need to have either a disconnection or eviction notice as well.

Rehousing, which is another part of homeless prevention, can offer everything from government grants for a security deposit to funds for first months rent. This will be combined with intensive case management in an effort to ensure the family remains housed and it will break the cycle of homelessness and evictions.




Shelter Program and its partners will ensure that case management, such as budgeting and Financial Education, is offered. This will increase participants’ awareness and knowledge about their finances. There will be tips and free advice given on developing and maintaining personal and family budgets, understanding interest rate, saving money, banking, and more. Workshops are held throughout the year in locations across Lewis County.

Job programs in Washington will help the unemployed find work, or those that are underemployed. Unfortunately people are struggling from the weak job market, and many of those people who need a job do not have the proper skills, internet access, or ability to find a job in a competitive market.

Serious job seekers, who want to grow and learn new skills, are given free clothing, advice, training on computers, and more. This is also available from local job training and workforce centers too. There is support for welfare recipients, those in poverty and long term unemployed too.

Information and support is always available to DSHS MCS clients, and this is a form of Resource Center. This will be a single place of information for clients to learn about and apply for services that are available to help them progress, and this include basic needs or self-sufficiency.

There will be information and access to the agencies that specialize in helping the less fortunate. There is details on services such as SNAP food stamps and low income energy bill assistance. Linkage to other non-profits in the Lewis County area are may be offered as well, as the goal of Shelter and many other groups in the region is to end the cycle of poverty.

The main address of the non-profit is 621 S Diamond St, Centralia, Washington, 98531. For more information on Lewis County Shelter, as well as the HEN service, dial (360) 736-5140.




By Jon McNamara

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