Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Winter Shelter 2014/2015

Winter Shelter
2014 - 2015

Thanks to a kinder gentler Mother Nature our recent winter in Seattle was relatively mild. Mild for those who have indoor amenities and plenty of resources to buck their way through anything that winter delivers.
For the thousands of people who live on the streets, in tents in the woods, in the back of tractor-trailers or flop under the freeway even a mild winter can take their life.
The city of Seattle has various programs that help, but without the ongoing generosity of neighborhood groups, service organizations, school programs, NGO’s, and churches we would be faced with hundreds, or perhaps thousands of deaths a year on our streets for lack of shelter.
Imagine if that bleak news interfered with our morning “cuppa joe.”

In the NE area of Seattle, a stones throw from the University of Washington, and affluent lake front hugging houses, is a little area referred to as Lake City.
Lake City, to be kind, is in transition from being an endless strip of car hustlers, fast food joints, low end service shops into what may become a more pleasant community for those who live close, drive by, or walk the streets hoping for a different outcome than the one they faced yesterday.

Seattle Mennonites, Prince of Peace, Lady of the Lake, Lake City Baptist and the George Center for the Community all opened their congregational community doors last December, on a rotational basis, for those who wanted a warm meal, a kind word and a floor to sleep on rather than the reality of what they know so well.
The shelters closed a couple of weeks ago with high hopes of repeating their service this winter. The hidden hope is they will be able to offer more people, in the greater Lake City neighborhood, space for longer periods of time.
The unsaid hope is society will ask for the end of this ongoing challenge and demand better for all of our citizens by providing adequate shelter for all.

The five church congregations mentioned above, their communities, and volunteers offered significant help to the 132 different people who braced their doors.
More than 2,707 shelter beds were offered along with 4,990 meals happily delivered by 335 volunteers. All this was shepherded by the Union Gospel Mission that stepped forward to be responsible of all the logistics, legal frights, transportation efforts that the churches could provide.
Along with a warm safe place to sleep people garnered additional help in totally changing their lives. Great news to all that 34 “homeless” people started new jobs, 25 were preparing to move into housing and 6 started classes at the Salvation Army, Goodwill or at various Community colleges.

Thanks from all of us to all of you who reached out a warm helping hand...

Contact us at for any questions, or more insight, to the challenges of poverty and homelessness.

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