A loss of a job, mental or physical illness, a crisis, and bad choice willingly or not can all snowball and lead to a housing crisis for any individual and family. Regardless of the reason being homeless is never a good thing. With nearly 25% of the population of Mankato living under the poverty line, plus high rent costs means more and more people in our city struggle to find affordable housing. But it doesn’t have to stay that way. Here are some tangible ways to help now and to also look into the future to how can we prevent this.
Emergency Shelter At Crossview
Crossview will be hosting an emergency shelter for up to 25 individuals (men, women and children) during the weeks of Feb 4-11 and Mar 25-Apr 1.
Volunteers are needed for:
- Set up Team
- 2-3 volunteers (6-7pm)
- Set-up rooms with cots and blankets
- Guests arrive around 7:30pm
- Might be once or several times during the week we host
- Meal Team
- 2 or more volunteers (6-9:30pm)
- Provides the snacks or simple meal. Snack providers: it is possible that snacks/meals could be dropped off at church ahead of time.
- Serves food as guests arrive
- Cleans up food and trash
- Volunteers may do it every night or for a few days or the whole week.
- Hospitality Team
- 3-8 volunteers (7-9:30pm)
- Issue cots and bedding
- Assign and directs guests to their spaces
- Provides an evening activity (games, craft, books, movie, etc.)
- Keeps building secure
- “Passes the baton” to shelter staff at 9:30pm
- Overnight Hosts
- 2-3 volunteers (9:30pm-6am---shifts can be split)
- Assist with building and guest needs,
- Work with Connections Shelter staff to supervise guests: there must be at least one volunteer on site with the staff person at all times.
- These volunteers should not expect to sleep, as they will conduct a facilities check every 45 min-1 hour throughout the night
- Morning Team
- 3-5 volunteers (6am-8:30am)
- Direct guests in how to clean up (wipe down cots, clean up space): this should be done every morning after guests leave about 7:30 a.m.
- We will need people to purchase: 30 new pillows, and 30 new twin-sized fitted sheets.
- At this time, we have enough pillows, sheets, and blankets.
- Welcome Bags
- We want our guest to feel welcome. Therefore, we are making bags which can be placed on their pillow.
- On Thursday, Nov 9 (6:30-7:30pm we will have a shelter training and 7:30-8:30pm we will be making welcome "bags" at church).
- Volunteers will take used bedding to the cleaners as needed, or at the end of the week, then returned for storage until the next time Crossview hosts.
- Shelter guests might arrive with a pet…host families might be needed.
Cooperate with Partners for Affordable Housing
Partners for Affordable Housing provides shelter for homeless families and individuals, and helps them to secure economically viable long-term housing. It would not be possible to do what we do without the help of our amazing volunteers.
- Build benches and tables for residences to encourage socializing and help prevent isolation.
For more information contact: Community Life Pastor Aaron Thompson