Columbus House acquires Wallingford Emergency Shelter


WES Acquisition LR.jpgWe have exciting news to share with our friends and colleagues! The Wallingford Emergency Shelter is now a program of Columbus House, Inc.

Last year, in an effort to significantly improve both the breadth and sustainability of services to current and future clients, the Wallingford Emergency Shelter (WES) board began developing a 5-year plan called WES2020. During this process, the WES board realized that they might achieve their goals more efficiently if they could join forces with a like-minded organization with a depth of services already in place. The WES board concluded that they needed to gain advice from a recognized state-wide leader in homeless services and housing. Their search brought them to Columbus House.

After a year of careful consideration on the part of both organizations, the two have agreed to join together to address the issues of homelessness in Wallingford. As of July 2016, the Wallingford Emergency Shelter is now a program of Columbus House. Under our umbrella of services, WES will continue to operate an emergency shelter for adults as well as a family shelter located in two townhouses that can accommodate up to four families with children. The WES mission aligns seamlessly with that of Columbus House whose mission is “To serve people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless by providing shelter and housing and by fostering their personal growth and independence.”

Like Columbus House, WES relies on a dedicated volunteer force to assist with shelter operations and meal service and a loyal group of donors to support their work. With added resources from Columbus House and your continued involvement, we will be in a better position to help even more of our Wallingford neighbors move out of homelessness and into their own homes.

More information will be provided in the future, but for now we felt it would be helpful to provide answers to some questions that you may have.


Wallingford Emergency Shelter Mission:
WES seeks to assist low-income families and individuals experiencing homelessness through meeting the immediate needs of shelter and food while providing in-depth case management. Their mission is primarily focused on empowering individuals and families in crisis towards independence and self-sufficiency with the ultimate goal of quickly securing permanent housing.

Wallingford Emergency Shelter History:
In 1986 the local church community of Wallingford banded together in an attempt to provide aid for the homeless population on a person to person level. Volunteers assisted those experiencing homelessness by meeting their primary needs of food, shelter, and human kindness.

Frequently asked questions:

Why did WES seek to be acquired by CHI?
While it is the goal of WES to help individuals find permanent housing and be self-sufficient, they felt that there was so much more that they could be doing.  Without the help from an experienced agency like Columbus House, it would take WES several years to improve existing programs and create new ones.  

What value does the acquisition bring to WES?
The acquisition will help WES deliver on their mission to help those experiencing homelessness move into appropriate housing. They will also benefit from the breadth of resources in best practices that Columbus House brings, such as Rapid Re-Housing, permanent supportive Housing, Trauma Informed Care, Person Centered Planning, Housing First, employment services, street outreach, etc.

What value does CHI bring to those experiencing homelessness in Wallingford?
Columbus House is an experienced leader with a proven track record of creating innovative programs and housing solutions. Through our experienced, professional staff, WES clients, both single adults and families, will have access to a broad array of services designed to decrease their length of stay in the shelter system while maximizing their opportunities for recovery and housing.

Does CHI have experience with acquiring other homeless services programs similar to WES?
CHI has experience as evidenced by its successful acquisition of the Middlesex Family Shelter and Services from the American Red Cross in 2011.

What will the newly acquired entity be called?
“Wallingford Emergency Shelter – a Program of Columbus House.”

How will the new entity be managed?
All WES operations will be managed by Columbus House staff.

How will the new entity be governed?
All WES operations will be governed by the Columbus House Board of Directors. CHI will reserve 2 seats on its’ board for representatives from Wallingford who will come from the current WES Board. Also, a newly formed WES Advisory Committee will be created to assist with building awareness and fundraising and will act as a liaison to the CHI board and staff.
Will there be an opportunity to get to know WES better?
Prior to the re-opening of the shelter for single adults in November, we will host a WES Open House event where you will be invited to learn more about the array of services being offered to the Wallingford community.

With your continued support, Columbus House is poised to help even more people throughout the region break the cycle of homelessness and quickly secure a place to call home.

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