Homeless given a new lease
By Ashley Wright
Homeless families in Bismarck-Mandan will have a larger resource for assistance in the coming months as Welcome House moves to the North Dakota Teen Challenge campus in Mandan.
According to Treva Beard, president of the board of directors for Welcome House, the nonprofit has signed a five-year lease agreement with the North Dakota Teen Challenge Foundation to move its offices and operations to the campus at 1406 Second St. NW, Mandan.
Teen Challenge will continue its operations at the campus in the same capacity.
“The connection was made through volunteers about a year ago and we started planning and dreaming, and have finally come to a point where we can make it a reality,” said Brenda Kriedeman, executive director.
Welcome House provides short-term shelter, assistance in obtaining permanent housing, case management, food and more to families with children.
Welcome House began the move on Saturday, and will be assessing the needs for various maintenance tasks such as painting, carpeting, lighting and other various accommodations required for grant funding and city ordinances.
“We hope to be fully moved in and in place by the end of February,” said Kriedeman.
In the meantime, they still will be assisting their clients and providing services at their current shelter in Mandan, which is run through their office at 2910 E. Broadway Ave., Ste. 40, Bismarck.
The larger facility at Teen Challenge will be able to accommodate roughly eight to 10 families, depending on the size of the families seeking shelter, said Kriedeman.
Welcome House is serving two families at their current shelter and helps other families find temporary housing in area hotels on an as needed basis.
“Our move will allow us to all be in the same place with our offices, families and services all under one roof,” said Kriedeman. “It will also help us serve more families and get them into permanent housing faster, to make us more efficient.”
The non-profit’s budget has tripled in the past five years, said Beard, as community donations and grant money poured in as the area’s need for homeless shelters, especially for single parent families, increased.
Welcome House has only one-and-a-half paid employees, but will be adding to their team during their move, said Beard.
Welcome House also will be expanding their services, including a mentoring program and tutoring for children at the shelter.
The Teen Challenge campus seemed like a good fit due to the faith-based nature of both organizations, said Scott Jordan, interim director for Teen Challenge.
“Part of our own mission is to assist people in leading successful lives,” said Jordan. “It excites us in our own ministry to see them (Welcome House) grow and it keeps our staff excited to see their good work.”
Welcome House also hopes to collaborate services with Teen Challenge in the future as they settle into their new home, said Beard.