In the Fall of 2013, the New Ulm Ministerial Association learned from a Brown County social worker that there was no homeless shelter in the entire county. As pastors learned more about the need for a shelter, they discovered that homelessness affects a significant number of school age children, many of whom came from single mother families. When they are placed in a shelter in another town, these children lose connection to their own schools – sometimes the only stability available to children whose families lack secure housing.
The pastors knew that no single church could adequately address the needs of homeless families, but they also knew that by working together, they could respond to the God-sized vision of providing housing security to single mother families of school age children. First United Methodist Church offered a house that could be renovated into temporary housing for up to three families. Catholic Charities offered case management and counseling services. Other community partners, including the local school district, ISD 88, came forward to offer program essentials, such as classes in being a good renter, household financial management and credit restoration, conflict resolution, reliable employee training, cooking and nutrition, and parenting skills coaching.
NUMAS Haus became a corporation in December 2014, and in May 2015, NUMAS Haus was approved by the IRS as a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. Donations may be sent to PO Box 291, New Ulm, MN 56073.
NUMAS Haus opened its doors in August 2016, and the first NUMAS Haus family moved into the shelter within 48 hours. NUMAS Haus can house up to three families at a time. There is currently a waiting list for residence at NUMAS Haus. For more information, contact shelter coordinator Karla Diehn at 507-359-2202.