The Beth- EL Center is a non-profit organization here in Milford. They have been giving back to the community for 35 years. The center provides a variety of services to people in need.
The center started off as a community of parishes. They came together forming the combined Parish Action council, which later became formally known as the Beth-El center in 1995.
The organization consists of two different programs;a food service and homeless shelter.
An important part of the Beth-El Center is the housing for the homeless. The center provides shelter for people who don’t have homes. They offer support for people in need and help them get on the path to recovery.
The organization offers a phone number for people to call. The number is for anyone who is in desperate need of Beth-Els services. Most commonly during the winter season, the most people are suffering. According to Beth-Els website, bethelmilford.org, the shelter program has individual and family living quarters.
The center’s food service is open to anyone unable to acquire food. Jennifer Paradis, Beth-Els executive director, talks about these services and how they work.
Paradis says, “We offer soup kitchen services. Two meals a day, everyday. We offer emergency shelter for men, women, families, and veterents. We offer a winter shelter program that’s open right now. That’s only open during the winter months and supports people, protecting them from the hazardous, cold weather.”
During the winter season, the center offers a different shelter program. One that is more prepared for cold and icy weather.
These aren’t the only services that they offer. There are more that tend to needs not surrounding the idea of shelter and food.
Paradis says, “Then we have additional services, like diversion services and outreach and engage services. So those are focused on outreaching to hard to reach populations in the community. Like people who are experiencing unsheltered homelessness, and preventing homelessness through diversion.”
The Beth-EL Center is open to the community. They welcome volunteer groups, individual volunteers, and anyone else who wants to help. They usually get up to around 100 volunteers.
They put on fundraising events like their annual gala in June and the trick or truck 5k walk/run held in October. Volunteers are more than welcomed at these events along with their soup kitchen and other various office volunteer positions that allow people to give back to the community.
Pardis says, “We consider ourselves people who are here to serve the community. People to serve those experiencing homelessness and hunger, and help our community come together and rally around these issues with hopes to resolve them. It’s a privilege to serve in that way. We really stress to do this work all year round and it’s important for people to care about it all year round.”