What We Do

Shawnee Homeless Outreach Program (S.H.O.P.)
As the Shawnee Homeless Outreach Program (S.H.O.P.), we recognize that people in our community are in need of assistance and we truly believe that our city can only be as healthy as our most vulnerable citizens. Our program has four main goals that we follow in order to overcome homelessness in Shawnee. These goals include:
  • Identifying individuals experiencing homelessness
  • Building relationships
  • Ascertaining immediate needs
  • Getting people into the system so that we can continue helping them on their journey to being housed.
Our program offers multiple services and programs to meet a wide array of needs for Shawnee's homeless population.
                        S.H.O.P. Dealer   Screenshot (57) - Copy - Copy  Screenshot (57) - Copy (2)

Sanitation and Hygiene
Sanitation and hygiene are two overlooked, yet vital aspects of conquering homelessness. Safe, adequate, and accessible public toilet, handwashing, shower, and laundry facilities are scare or altogether absent for the homeless community. Without access to hygiene facilities and the safety and dignity that they provide, those experiencing homelessness face inequitable physical and behavioral health risks, including having to urinate or defecate outdoors, and forgo handwashing, showers, clean laundry and sanitary products.  Because of this, those experiencing homelessness must live in unhealthy environments contaminated by human waste. They are more vulnerable to Hepatitis A, meningitis, staph, lice, and other health problems. 
Porta-Potties
     In Shawnee, it is very common to see homeless people sitting outside the library and other businesses nearby. While looking
     into the issue, we found that many people stay in this area because it is the only public restroom.  This summer, 5 porta-potties 
     were placed at 3 sites to with the goals of providing much-needed bathrooms for the homeless community, decreasing
     bathroom traffic at the library, and to see if it would cut down on human waste in the downtown area. The experiment was
     successful, with business owners and community members reporting a drastic decrease in human waste, those experiencing
     homelessness were very thankful, and the library reported a decrease in bathroom traffic. Armed with the results of this
     experiment, we are exploring more permanent solutions. 
Laundry Service
     With help from Generations Church and Suds Bucket, we have been able to coordinate a laundry service for our homeless
     populations. After dirty clothes are dropped off on Wednesday, they are taken to Suds Bucket to be washed. The clothes are
     brought back on Saturday for the individuals to pick up. This has aided in healthy living and resulted in a decrease of
     cast-off clothing in the downtown area.
Shower Trailer
     A 24 foot, three-stall shower trailer was placed at the location of the Homeless Resource Center (HRC) throughout the summer.
     Over 700 showers were given, and clients were extremely thankful.  People were able to come take a warm shower with soap,
     shampoo, and conditioner provided. We also provided a clean pair of socks and underwear as well as deodorant, shaving
     supplies, toothbrushes, feminine products, and other hygiene-related items. While the shower trailer has helped to improve
     health, sanitation, and hygiene, it has also served as a way to boost confidence and allow our homeless citizens to feel like actual
     people again. The trailer was paid for by grant funds, and with the funding winding down, the Director of the Shawnee Rescue
     Mission offered to install permanent showers at the facility being used as the HRC.

Programs
In addition to meeting sanitation and hygiene needs, we have many other programs to help clients obtain clothing ID Cards, and other resources to assist people in escaping or avoiding homelessness.
No Wrong Door
     The No Wrong Door program is designed as a foundation for the rest of our services. The goal of this program is to create a
     united system to address homelessness. Shawnee has a large number of churches, groups, and organizations that want to help,
     but may not know the best way or have the best resources to do so effectively. With the No Wrong Door program, a person
     facing homelessness will receive the same screening and access to services whether they enter the system at our office, a
     church, or the police station. Creating a united system helps to ensure consistency and that nobody will fall through the cracks. 
Identity Services
     In order to apply for a job, obtain housing, and get access to various services, everyone must have a valid ID. With our Identity 
     Services Program, we are able to help clients obtain birth certificates, social security cards, and ID/Driver's License. After the
     individual gets a valid ID, they are able to take the necessary steps to escape homelessness. 
Back to Work
     In order to obtain and hold a job, an individual must have appropriate clothing for work. Our Back to Work program provides
     work clothes for those who recently got a job.
Homeward Bound
     Due to Shawnee's location, it is not uncommon for some individuals to become stranded here. The Homeward Bound program
     helps people stranded in Shawnee return home where they have support and resources, and ultimately keeps them out of the
     homeless system.
Homelessness in Shawnee Roundtable
This group is comprised of organizations that serve the homeless population. The goal is to harness the collective power of these organizations and create a coordinated response to homelessness. This helps decrease redundant services and is a more effective way to combat homelessness. The group is comprised of over 30 organizations and meets monthly, discussing individual cases in order to find solutions, and identifying and filling holes in the system.