- Tri-Town Shelter Services, Inc. is an emergency shelter for displaced families and adult males and females experiencing temporary homelessness. They are the displaced searching for “belonging”.
- Our mission is to provide a safe, stable and supportive environment in which they can reclaim responsible control over their life’s challenges and realize their potential as productive community members.
- Formed in 1984, Tri-Town Shelter Services, Inc. is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors and run by an Executive Director, along with full-time, part-time and on-call case managers / life coaches.
- The first Executive Director, Patricia Mannegia (1986 – 1988) was hired, followed by Rhonda Chapnick (1988 – 2004) and subsequently, Pieter Nijssen (2004 – currently).
- We service between 250-275 residents per year and every adult is on an Individualized Service Plan. Rather than address the growing challenges of homelessness by “creating more shelters with more beds”, we shifted to “creating less homeless” by intentionally addressing the contributing factors resulting in ones homelessness. This shift lead us to an Empowerment Model consisting of Empathetic Care + Encouragement + Effective Life Coaching + Education + Equipping.
- To address self-sabotaging behaviors, the values that drive our case management are:
(1) Personal Ownership and Responsibility
(6) Thankfulness and
Tri-Town Shelter Services, Inc. is a fifteen bed emergency shelter with compassionate support, competent case management and the effective coordination of services for those experiencing homelessness or displacement.
A committee to develop an emergency shelter was formed in 1984 by a group of concerned citizens from Vernon, Ellington and Tolland. These Tri-Town residents, after a demographic and needs assessment, began to recruit a board of directors and secure funding. The board consisted of twenty-one people from social service agencies, churches, area businesses and town government. In 1986 their third attempt to secure funding was successful. In September the State of Connecticut responded with a grant and the Shelter was temporarily located in the Convent of St. Bernard’s Catholic Church.
On October 3, 1987, after nine months of renovation, the shelter relocated to One Prospect Street, where it remained for sixteen years. This facility utilized a single level, dormitory style of living arrangement.
In September of 2001 the current building was purchased with renovations completed January 2003. This facility offers semi-private and private rooms on two floors. The first floor houses the case manger & workers office, common kitchen, men’s lounge, bedrooms and bathrooms while the second floor houses the Executive Director’s office, women’s lounge, bedrooms and bathrooms, as well as a multi-purpose room which houses a computer lab, learning lab, workforce readiness and retention classroom, and educational material on pertinent topics.
In 1993, the shelter name was change from Tri-Town Emergency Shelter Services to Tri-Town Shelter Services, Inc. to more accurately describe the services provided. More than just a “bed and a bowl of soup,” the shelter is a safe and supportive place where staff and residents work together on the contributing factors resulting in homelessness.
Tri-Town Shelter Services, Inc. is currently overseen by a Board of Directors. Since 1986 the program has been led by a Board of Directors and full-time Executive Director. There are 6 shift supervisors, 5 part-time staff and 1 part-time bookkeeper. Although there have been many changes through the years, our mission has remained constant. While residents are in a safe environment where, with the support of compassionate and competent staff, they have the opportunity to reclaim responsible control over their lives while experiencing hope, healing, and wholeness.