Bradford County's only homeless shelter looks to community for assistance

Endless Mountains Mission Center Director Tammie Storrs is shown near a bunk bed in one of the center’s family apartments.

Placed high on a hill outside of Troy, the Endless Mountains Mission Center stands with a simple exterior but an extraordinary purpose — to aid those without homes in Bradford County.

EMMC, a non-profit Christian community organization that has provided shelter for more than 70 individuals per year is housed in a building constructed more than 30 years ago, one that is now in need of renovation that will cost more than $7,000 according to Director Tammie Storrs.

Storrs stated that EMMC, the only shelter in Bradford County, is currently constructed of two family apartments that can hold up to seven individuals each as well as four additional rooms where individuals are welcomed for up to three months, during which they receive assistance with obtaining a job and “getting back on their feet.”

After a $4,000 grant was awarded to EMMC through the United Way, Storrs has asked the community to help raise an additional $3,703 needed for the organization to purchase new flooring, windows, doors, plumbing fixtures, shower repair, painting, and molding and to repair light fixtures in order to continue to serve individuals who find themselves in need.

Homeless individuals in Bradford County cannot be stereotyped and are not as easily seen as movies often show on the streets of New York, Storrs explained, saying that it’s a large variety of circumstances that often render locals in need of temporary housing.

“When they see homeless they see the bum with the stick over his shoulder and carrying a bag, but our homeless come from drug addiction and rehab, they come from incarceration, they stem out of mental illness and not being able to make it, people that lose jobs and therefore they get evicted from their apartments, there is just so many different kinds of homeless it’s unbelievable,” she said. “The homeless is not what you see as traditional homeless at all.”

Storrs stated that EMMC has seen first hand the impact of the drug crisis locally, as well as many residents fleeing domestic violence or left without shelter after extenuating situations such as health problems that have led to job loss and eventually home evictions.

“I’ve had people here that say I never dreamed I would be in a shelter, this is not my life, but people find themselves in circumstances,” she said.

Storrs noted that EMMC is kept under strict surveillance, has a zero tolerance drug and alcohol policy and sees about 75 percent of former residents “get on their feet” by the end of their stay.

Storrs has asked citizens to consider partnering with EMMC through making a financial contribution that will aid in caring for some of the county’s most vulnerable residents by donating through the organization’s Facebook page. For more information, interested parties can contact the center at (570) 297-4489 or by email at endlessmountainmissioncenter@gmail.com.

{p class=”MsoNormal”}Connect with Bri: (570) 265-2151 ext. 1627; bostrander@thedailyreview.com; Facebook @Brianne Ostrander Daily Review.

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I am a reporter with The Daily and Sunday Review in Bradford County, Pennsylvania. See a story? Let me know!