Shalom (House of Peace) Inc. History
Shalom (House of Peace) Inc. was the brain child of a select few business men in the Albany area. These individuals had a desire to share their advantages with those that were possibly not as well off. Through a number of exploratory meetings it became apparent to this ‘Board’ that there are many unfilled needs in the community and extensive gaps in service delivery among the current key agencies both government, non-government and volunteer. The Board then approached a number of other members of the local community with the intention of establishing a Committee of Management to initiate proceedings. As such the official Shalom Project held its first meeting on the 22.11.2010. As a committee it was agreed that it was important to determine a direction and set specific goals to move forward and that the Shalom Project had a unique opportunity to fill one or more gaps rather than duplicate or extend existing services. Shalom was incorporated on the 31st of August 2012.
Subsequently, upon its establishment, Shalom Inc. was approached by the local ‘Regional Counselling and Mentoring Service’ organisation requesting that we accept responsibility for their current Winter Men’s Night Shelter. Shalom Inc. took over coordinating this and continues to provide this service to this day. The first year the shelter was run from RCMS premises. Shalom Inc. then sourced funds to purchase a new property. Council permission was sought to develop this house into a shelter and was unfortunately denied. Another property was purchased and much of late 2012 and early 2013 was committed to developing it. Shalom House was open for public use on June 4th 2013. The committee believed it was important that the ‘house’ was run and managed by a paid co-ordinator. It is essential to the effective day to day running of the ‘house’, and provides both continuity and stability to both the house, and to the clients who make use of its facilities. It is particularly important in light of the background of the majority of clients Shalom House assists. As such a qualified Social Worker was employed, commencing employment on April 9th 2013.
Shalom Inc. clientele are the homeless, disadvantaged, long-term unemployed and/or at risk people who desire more personal contact than the static, official services provided by mainstream agencies. The initial goal was to provide a safe, rewarding environment for people to utilize during the daytime. With the direction of the night shelter (Shalom House) Shalom Inc. compliment this initial goal and with its recent commencement of Shalom Access, which consequently also returns to the initial idea. Shalom Access provides a ‘drop in’ style service for men, women, young people and families between the hours of 10 and 1 on a Monday and Tuesday. Some of the more tangible services Shalom Access offers are access to a shower for personal hygiene, a healthy meal, internet access and a laundry service. This, coupled with an empathetic ear and a kind word provides a unique and viable service in Albany that is well utilized.
This organisation also has a lot of scope for expansion. Dependant on the success or otherwise of these program, it can be expanded to increase the level of service to the same target group or provide additional services to a different clientele using existing resources.
Shalom Inc. is a professional, Christian organisation coordinated by members of the Free Reformed Churches in Albany. Our mission is to provide crisis accommodation for homeless men and to provide practical support and activities for homeless and other disadvantaged people to empower them with skills to make positive changes in their life. Through the shelter, named Shalom House, we aim to provide a safe environment where they feel loved, cared for and feel comfortable sharing their stories. Through a daytime drop-in centre, named Shalom Access and our Shalom (community) Garden, we up-skill participants to address causal factors of their homelessness and increase their social interaction skills to become active and accepted community members.
By caring for these people, we demonstrate they are worthy of being cared for and thus educate the community that homelessness should not be a hidden, anonymous issue but one for which the whole of society takes responsibility. In so doing, we also create opportunities for members of the Free Reformed Churches to share their riches by voluntarily putting back into the community.
Our trained staff demonstrate the professionalism of our organisation by following clear policy and procedures to ensure our Clients receive quality support. Through their actions, we also witness the power and glory of God and thus share the love of Jesus Christ.
Shalom Inc. is a unique organisation working within the government framework and a network of professional agencies in the Albany community that strive to make a positive difference in people's lives. We recognize we do not have all the skills required to address complex and multi-layered issues and thus it is our aim to cooperate with, learn from and refer to these agencies to develop a holistic and seamless response to homelessness. We speak openly about our vision and mission to share our passion with the community to continually increase and improve the service provision to our disadvantaged members.