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Agency - Willis Dady Emergency Shelter 10,000 Hours Show UWECI

Agency - Willis Dady Emergency Shelter

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Willis Dady Emergency Shelter
Last updated on April 6, 2015


Willis Dady Emergency Shelter's mission is to provide shelter and prevention services to the homeless and near-homeless with the vision of empowering clients to break the cycle of homelessness and become self-sufficient.

Willis Dady Emergency Shelter (WDES) provides services to both prevent homelessness for those at risk of becoming homeless and rehouse those who currently find themselves homeless. Willis Dady serves single men and families by providing shelter, case management, resource referrals, and basic necessities such as food, clothing, linens, and toiletries. Willis Dady is a participant in Operation Home and works to serve homeless veterans. Willis Dady emphasizes permanent housing over shelter as the solution to homelessness.

Willis Dady was founded in 1987 by Mount Mercy College student Jim Welborn. Welborn had spent 25 years on the streets struggling with alcohol addiction before seeking help and enrolling in college. Welborn founded Willis Dady as a men's day program in fulfillment of his senior social work project. The shelter opened in 1987 and became an incorporated 501(c)3 non-profit in 1989. The shelter was named after a young homeless man, Willis Dady, who drowned in the Des Moines River while attempting to rescue a child. Willis Dady was awarded the Presidential Citizen's Award, post death, for his heroic rescue. This is the highest award that a citizen of the U.S. can receive. In 2007 Willis Dady added case management services in addition to shelter, and in 2013 it added prevention services. In 2013 Willis Dady also joined Operation Home, a joint program with HACAP; Operation Home serves homeless and near-homeless veterans. Willis Dady Emergency Shelter has served over 12,000 clients from over 30 different countries. In August 2009, Willis Dady was awarded an I-Jobs Public Shelter Service Grant of $300,000, and subsequent renovations to the shelter were completed in 2010.

Contact people:
 Joseph Sorensen, Administrative Assistant, (phone), (email)
Tim Wilson, Executive Director, (phone), (email)

Office fax number: (319) 362-7540

 1247 4TH Avenue SE
Cedar Rapids, IA 52403
(See a map)

Web Site: http://www.willisdady.org


 We are located between 12th and 14th Streets on 4th Avenue SE. There are vacant lots on both sides of the building, which is green with white trim around the windows. The main entrance faces the parking lot between the building and the vacant lot. It is always locked, so please ring the bell for assistance.
  Nearest Bus Stop: 4TH Ave. across from Shelter; 5TH Ave. and 12TH Street, 2 minute walk

Miscellaneous Information
Visit the organization's Facebook page here:
Last updated on April 6, 2015

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