South Hills Community News Release
LEWISTOWN — For the last 30 years, Shelter Service Inc. has provided temporary shelter for homeless individuals from Mifflin and Juniata Counties. The organization helps them to identify the cause of their homelessness and assists them with job searching, setting goals, learning how to budget, and teaches them how to find suitable housing options.
The Club IT (Information Technology) at South Hills School of Business & Technology’s Lewistown Campus recently met with Jane Neff, Director of Shelter Service Inc., and Teresa Fink, Shelter Service Inc.’s Chair of the Board of Directors, to discuss how Club IT can help the shelter’s faculty and residents.
Jeff Foflygen, IT Instructor and Club IT Advisor, said, “I recognized that there was a homeless problem here in Lewistown, and when I expressed my concern to the students and proposed the idea to help the shelter, they enthusiastically jumped on board. This project will not only benefit the students with the real-world experience of what we’re trying to teach them but also the community as a whole. I feel that this is a perfect project for Club IT to take on, but the most important lesson for my students to learn is the value of giving back and being able to take your skills and apply them to the real world. Each day at the end of class I tell my students to ‘Go forth and change the world!’ Now, they are doing just that.”
During the initial meeting, two major focus areas for the shelter were discussed: the computer network and the development of a new website. Club IT will build the shelter’s website which will help provide information about the organization to the community and allow the shelter to spread awareness about the many different donations accepted. Club IT members will also help the shelter implement working internet and wi-fi throughout the facility to ensure that the staff can effectively continue to perform their jobs and to make tasks such as job searching easier for the residents.
Ms. Neff added, “This opportunity gives South Hills students the chance to gain essential practice in their chosen field of study while also giving back to the community. We are looking forward to the upgrades this project will bring to the shelter which will allow us to better meet the needs of the homeless within our modern technological age. We are most excited that these changes will improve the process of finding employment and acquiring safe, secure housing for our residents.”
To further assess the building and computer network needs, Club IT visited the shelter where they toured the facility and further discussed the project with Ms. Neff. During the tour, the club members were able to see where and how they will need to run wires and install servers. Phase Two of the project began upon the students’ return from Spring Break. It will consist of them forming into groups to tackle this project piece by piece.
Shelter Service Inc. also operates the Shelter Thrift Shop on Depot Street in Lewistown, which is open to the public.