Beth-El Shelter


Family kitchen: The refrigerators and cabinets for family use have been cleared out since the families moved to motel living, leaving an eerie feel to the kitchen. Photo Courtesy: Eliot Poffenberger, March 13, 2020

Eliot Poffenberger, Staff Writer

     “The Beth-El Center’s mission is to alleviate homelessness and hunger in the Milford area through shelter, support services, advocacy, and community education in partnership with the faith-based community and public and private organizations.”

     The Beth-El shelter is a place for all people old or young to seek shelter and/or meals whenever they are in need.

     Many people are unaware of what actually happens and the efforts that are put in by the volunteer board members that help to provide stability and order to the shelters and soup kitchen, and the volunteer organizations around the community who donate lots of items including linens, food, toys, clothes and many more items to help better the lives of those in need.

     During the Covid-19 pandemic, it has been difficult to keep the people in need within reach of proper care. Many of the families that stayed in the shelters were moved to local motels in order to reduce the spread of the virus, however there have been negative impacts on doing so.

     Beth-El center executive director Jenn Paradis says that “The families now must stay in the motels at this time but they are unable to get a real sense of home when they are living in the motels. While at the shelter, the families were able to cook and prepare personal meals in the kitchen, and the children were able to play in the playroom, and that’s only scratching the surface of the things that these families are missing out on.”

     It is important to get the families back into the shelters where they can resume their lives in a more involved way where they can enjoy activities with others in a sense of community, and have an easier time with food distribution without having to receive all food prepackaged.

Soup Kitchen: Volunteers from a catholic church group prepare a chicken lunch meal pre-packaged due to Covid-19 restricting access to the dining room . Photo Courtesy: Eliot Poffenberger, March 13, 2020
Dorm Rooms: beds are stripped and the shelves are bare due to a pending await for the families to return to the shelter.. Photo Courtesy: Eliot Poffenberger, March 13, 2020
Dining Room: Tables and chairs are folded up and leaning against the wall with boxes strewn across the floor due to inaccessibility to the dining rooms during the Covid-19 pandemic. Photo Courtesy: Eliot Poffenberger, March 13, 2020