The video above is a PowerPoint that ECHO volunteers can present to your organization. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 712-1224 for more information. The presentation takes about 10 minutes and we enjoy answering questions afterwards.
What is ECHO?
ECHO is North County’s homeless shelter serving all of the communities in North San Luis Obispo County. ECHO is a 50-bed transitional shelter helping families and individuals find permanent housing within three months of entering ECHO. ECHO provides case management services to the homeless, helping them create an action plan, live with new behaviors, find a job, and locate a permanent home. Other social service agencies depend on ECHO. In addition, ECHO serves up to 80 dinners each evening for anyone who is hungry thanks to our network of dedicated volunteers.
Who are the homeless?
Many are the working poor who are unable to find affordable housing. Many are the elderly and/or veterans. Many are families with children. Many struggle with physical and mental illness.
Meeting Community Needs
Since 2001, ECHO has helped homeless individuals and families transform their lives as they work to establish and sustain permanent housing. With generous donations from the community, ECHO recently renovated the shelter and increased capacity from 31 to 50 beds. Every evening volunteers prepare and serve up to 80 warm meals to anyone who is hungry.
Who supports ECHO?
The entire community! More than 75% of ECHO’s income comes from donations! It takes a community-wide partnership to maintain and operate a shelter, as well as provide critical case management services. We need your support to continue the services that enable homeless men, women and families to get back home!
How does ECHO Work?
Step One – A New Beginning
Being homeless is terrifying and exhausting. ECHO volunteers and staff enable homeless individuals and families to feel safe and secure. They are treated with dignity and respect. ECHO’s policies are reviewed, including a zero tolerance for alcohol and substance abuse. ECHO clients must agree to follow policies at all times.
Step Two – Work the Plan
Within five days of entering ECHO, clients are assigned a case manager who helps identify core issues for their homelessness. ECHO case managers understand what resources are available in the county. Case managers advocate for clients with the Veteran’s and Social Security Administrations. They also assist clients with employment counseling, transportation, clothing and other needs.
Step Three – Success
Of those who work their case management program, 70% of ECHO clients have found housing within 90 days!* If clients are adhering to their plan, but need more time, they may stay longer at ECHO. However, most clients are able to secure new housing arrangements within 90 days.
*Based on data analysis from January – June 2014
ECHO shelter provides safe shelter and meals to children and parents, as well as adult men and women. You must be 18 years old to stay at ECHO. To ensure the safety of all who stay and work at ECHO, alcohol, drug and tobacco use is prohibited. Clients are breathalized in the evening and subject to random drug tests. While staying at ECHO, clients are given chores to help keep the facility clean and running smoothly. Clients must work with a case manager to find solutions to their housing crisis.
An Average Day
4:30 pm Clients may arrive at the shelter. This is a good time to talk to the shelter coordinator regarding any questions. Once clients come on to the shelter property, we ask them not to leave and to not smoke.
5:00-6:00pm Dinner is served. Each evening a local group of volunteers brings in a nutritious and tasty warm dinner.
5:45pm After dinner chores.
6:00pm Reading of the shelter rules. Clients go to their sleeping areas. Children do homework. Clients meet with the case manager, or may read a book or other activity on their beds. Each person is provided bedding and a storage trunk for their belongings. This trunk can be locked and remains at the shelter. Clients cannot store any other personal items at the shelter.
9:00pm Lights out. Adults may stay up until 10:00pm quietly reading and studying.
6:00am Clients wake-up and do morning chores such as vacuuming and cleaning the bathrooms.
6:00-7:00am Clients eat breakfast in the dining room. They may also make lunches.
7:30am After cleaning the dining room, clients are asked to leave the shelter premises. They may return at 4:30pm.
Until clients find housing, ECHO helps by providing:
Critical case management for clients to develop an action plan to resolve their housing crisis,
Motel rooms for clients who become ill,
Furniture and other donations for clients who have found housing,
Postal address so clients my receive mail,
Gas and other types of transportation for stranded clients.