Emergency Cold Weather Shelter for Families is in a new space!
First Presbyterian Church, in conjunction with other churches in our community, began this year’s ECWS ministry on October 3 at First Presbyterian Church. We shared hospitality that evening by providing a warm meal, showers, and a safe place for families to sleep during the night. In the morning we provided breakfast for the families. On October 10, FPC hosted our first night of hospitality at the new site for the Emergency Cold Weather Shelter. During the past year the churches have been praying and working together to find a building that could be used for the ECWS ministry. In mid-early September a site was located that fit our needs. At the end of September we learned that the city would be able to provide a grant to pay for the rent for the facility. This money arrived so we could open at our new site on Monday, October 10. FPC was the first church to serve at the new site since we cover Monday nights. What a joy it has been to see the change in the families; they can now focus on long term solutions to their family crises instead of worrying each day where they will go and if they will have overnight housing.
FPC covers Monday nights at the new site. We continue to provide a hot meal and provide hospitality to the families who are at the site. Our volunteer needs have changed a bit. We need volunteers (2-3) to serve as evening hosts. These people serve the evening meal and share hospitality with the families in the evening. We also need four volunteers each night to serve as overnight hosts. These four people monitor the building for fire, take care of the needs of the family during the night and serve a simple breakfast in the morning. All four volunteers do not have to be awake the entire night. The night is split up in shifts with each person being awake for a 3 hour shift. The overnight volunteers serve between 7:30 pm on Monday to 9 am on Tuesday morning. Times can be arranged to meet family and work needs of those serving as long as we cover these hours. If we had 18 people to serve as overnight hosts no one would need to serve more than one time a month. Currently we have 8 people who are doing the overnights and several are doing it every week. We invite you to consider serving yourself and if possible helping us with the overnight needs. We also invite you to let your friends know about this opportunity. Pre-covid about 40 percent of our volunteers were community members who had heard about the ECWS from one of our FPC volunteers.
If you are able to serve or know of someone that is interested please have them contact Danna Larson or Marcus Geist. We also ask you to be in prayer with us about new volunteers joining our Monday night crew. Thank you!
1. Volunteers to staff the overnight hospitality. Volunteers come in the evening (between 7:30-9:30) and spend the night. Requires each volunteer to be awake for one three-hour shift between 11 pm – 7 am. Can schedule to accommodate your needs.
2. Volunteers to staff the evening hospitality. Volunteers comes between 5 pm – 9 pm and help with the needs of the guests including serving the evening meal. Can work to accommodate your schedules.
3. Snacks and household items: healthy snacks for children, laundry soap (pods preferred), toilet paper, dishwashing soap, supplies for a tool box (hammer, screwdriver, tape measure, etc.), ziplock bags, orange juice, apple juice, coffee, etc.
Emergency Cold Weather Shelter Featured on KTUU: