Women’s Shelter at Water Street Mission

Coming to Water Street’s Women’s Shelter is about more than just temporary shelter. Whether you stay three weeks in our shelter track or three months in our residential program, we want to help you find the right path moving forward. No more spinning wheels or treading water, let’s find solutions that will last!

A loving environment

For us, the key ingredient is creating an atmosphere where guests feel welcomed and loved. Homelessness is a traumatic experience, and one few people can walk through alone. As a community, we want to support and lift one another up – because each of us is incredibly loved and valued as children of God. 

What about Kids on Campus?

At Water Street, we typically have around 50 children on campus at any given moment. We aim to support parenthood, and help each mom feel fully equipped as they raise their children. Families always stay in our family-sized dorm rooms, and have access to our children’s ministry and child support staff. We work to accommodate the best living situation for each case, to help families in this time of transition. To find out if our program would be a good fit for you and your family, be sure to call 2-1-1 and they can talk you through your options. 

Going “Upstairs”: The Residential Program

If you’ve visited Water Street, you may have heard some of the guests talk about going “Upstairs.” When you hear guests talk of upstairs, what they really mean is the Residential Program. (It just gathers on the 2nd and third floors of Kuhns hall!)

For many women, the residential program is where they really hit their stride. Looking back on their time here, they often say joining the residential program was one of the best decisions they could have made. 

“If I hadn’t come to Water Street, I probably wouldn’t have opened my heart back up to God. I’d be working at dead-end jobs…still struggling being a single parent.”

Jennifer, WSM Guest

So why is there so much talk of going upstairs

The residential program is targeted and tailored to each woman. You make your own action plan, and work towards finding the right solutions for you and your family. With the support of staff, you’ll access local resources, and tools to help you dig deeper. But in the end, it’s all about helping you meet your own unique goals.

Many women say the residential program helped them: 

  • Find more fulfilling work 
  • Build deeper and better community
  • Take a time out so they can find a stronger sense of peace 
  • Overcome anxiety and depression
  • Connect more deeply with God
  • Find parental resources for their children
  • Be better off financially 

Call 2-1-1

Whatever your goals are, it never hurts to give it a try, and see what God has in store for you! If you are a woman experiencing homelessness in Lancaster County, please call 2-1-1 to get connected to resources. You can learn more about our residential and shelter tracks here!

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