By Jessica Mathews /

A local non-profit that provides shelter and services for the homeless is welcoming a new director and preparing for the upcoming season and a fundraising event.

The Severe Weather Network Livingston County provides a warm, safe refuge for the county’s homeless men and women during the cold, winter months. It’s welcoming Erik Savig as the new Program Director, who brings experience as a pastor and community outreach coordinator serving low-income families, fighting food-deserts, and creating bridges between communities of different backgrounds and incomes.

A press release states the Board of Directors is confident that Savig will be instrumental in the management of the Severe Weather Homeless Center, as well as the planning and implementation of the Board’s long-term goal to offer homeless individuals a permanent, year-round option for congregate sheltering in Livingston County.

The Severe Weather Center provides a nurturing environment where guests feel welcome and are treated with the utmost of dignity and respect. Complimentary transportation is provided to all guests through Severe Weather Network contracted vendors. Guests are served a hot dinner, a continental breakfast, have access to on site showering facilities and off site laundry facilities.

In addition to providing refuge, the Severe Weather Network works collaboratively with local non-profit agencies connecting each guest to those agencies that are best equipped to assist and support them in their transition to affordable housing. In many cases, the Severe Weather Network supports guests financially that are transitioning into employment and permanent housing through the payment of security deposits, gas cards, a career wardrobe etc.

The Center will pivot back from a motel sheltering model to a congregate shelter operating from leased space at the Chilson Hills Church. Doors will open November 1st - one month earlier than in years past. Strict COVID-19 protocols will be in place to ensure everyone’s safety. Currently, the shelter is scheduled to be open through April 30th - with the option to extend sheltering services should funding permit.

Community financial support and volunteers are said to be critical to the efforts of the Severe Weather Network. It will kick off Homeless Awareness Month with the 2nd annual Trivia Night Fundraiser on Saturday, November 6th at 6:30pm at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Brighton. Tickets are limited and cost $35. Dinner will be provided by Whisk and Ivy.

More information is available in the attached press release.