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One of Battle Creek's homeless shelters will close at the end of May

a red hanging cloth sign against a beige pole barn. Sign says The Battle Creek Shelter
Jessi Phillips
The Battle Creek Shelter opened three and a half years ago with support from the Battle Creek Community Foundation.

Battle Creek's other homeless shelter says it can support Calhoun County's unhoused community on its own.

A Battle Creek homeless shelter is closing at the end of the week. But employees at another shelter in the city say that no unhoused people will have to go without a place to stay.

The Battle Creek Shelter opened three and a half years ago. It’s open 24 hours and calls itself a “low barrier” shelter equipped to serve those most in need of immediate help. Its Board of Directors announced a few weeks ago that it would close due to lack of funding.

Daniel Jones is the Executive Director of Haven of Rest Ministries, the other homeless shelter in Battle Creek.

“I’m not sad that it’s closing necessarily,” he said. “I think the Haven has the ability to do the job. We could have done the job the last four years. In this opportunity, we’re just going to make sure we help the people who are down there, and that’s our first priority.”

He also notes that Haven of Rest has been around since 1956 and was previously the city’s main homeless shelter.

Lisa Foley runs the family division at Haven of Rest. She says her part of the shelter is often at capacity. But she says Haven of Rest will be able to provide services for anyone who comes to its doors.

“It was a great alternative, you know, but we’ve lived without it before in the Haven,” she said. “And we will take care of who we’re serving, and we’ll hope and pray that it’s not a huge impact.”

John has been staying at the Battle Creek Shelter and didn’t want to give his last name. He said he’s hoping to secure an apartment at the beginning of June, but said he’d rather sleep outside than go to Haven of Rest Ministries. He says the Battle Creek Shelter has more flexible rules.

“This is better to me than being at the Haven,” he said. “People go down there because they have beds. It don’t bother me not having a bed.”  

Kalamazoo Gospel Ministries says it does not expect the closure to impact capacity at its Kalamazoo shelter.