C-U at Home faces short-term pause

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Photo Courtesy of C-U at Home

A man holds up a sign during the One Night event with C-U at Home. C-U at Home is temporarily closing due to staff shortage.

By Mona Alrazzaq, Assistant News Editor

C-U at Home, a faith-based homeless shelter in the Champaign-Urbana area, recently announced a temporary halt on some services due to a staff shortage. 

While there is still a reduced number of people at the men and women’s emergency shelters and transitional housing options are still available, other services such as street outreach have been paused. 

Phoenix Daytime Drop-in-Center, an open living room with many services as well as board games and musical instruments, is open with more limited hours. 

The temporary pause is being taken in order to “address and remedy significant staff shortages that have led to serious safety concerns for our staff and friends without an address,” according to an email statement from the organization’s board of directors. 

Rob Dalhaus, executive director of C-U at Home, talked about how the main focus of the shelter within the next few years is figuring out “how to get good qualified employees through the door.” 

The board of directors is expanding where they put their job descriptions and creating more competitive salaries. 

According to Dalhaus, this is not a financial problem or pandemic related issue. It is simply a short staffing problem resulted in “a reduction of services over a short amount of time” that he hopes will be resolved as quickly as possible. 

“Nobody can get rich doing what we’re doing,” Dalhaus said. “It’s something you truly have to have a passion for, a calling for. It’s a really fulfilling job although it can be difficult.”

Dalhaus also emphasized that supporters of the shelter have truly helped them out throughout their operation. He said that C-U at Home “couldn’t do it without the community and everything they’ve done.” 

As for those in need of shelter, C-U at Home is providing alternate methods in order to ensure that they have a place to stay, whether that means getting them housing vouchers, connecting them to different shelters or financing transportation to reconnect them with family members. 

“We’ve talked with community partners about other short term options like hotels,” Daulhaus said. 

According to the statement, the pause is only expected to last until June 14. Dalhaus said that that time is tentative and will depend on the circumstances within these next few weeks, but he hopes that they are able to fully operate as soon as possible.

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