Winter Hospitality Overflow Opportunities
Messiah Lutheran has been involved with supporting WHO since its inception in 2003. Two of our sister churches, St. Andrew Lutheran in Orchards and St. Paul Lutheran in downtown Vancouver, agreed to provide space for this ministry in their church facilities
From November 1 through March 31 during the coldest part of the year. Many other churches throughout Clark County, of all denominations, have facilitated and supported the running of these ministries. Unfortunately, the need has not diminished.
In recent years, due in large part to Covid risks, things have changed. One positive change has been that the men at St. Paul may stay all year if needed! That facility is now being run by Outsiders Inn. They have done a wonderful job of assisting men into housing as well as running the shelter. There are still volunteer opportunities, mainly for meals. Training to volunteer at the shelter is provided every Sunday for anyone interested.
At St. Paul there are volunteer opportunities in the mornings and evenings as well as opportunities to provide meals. Signing up is not difficult. However, detailed instructions about volunteering are available below.
The information below also provides details about how to donate to the WHO ministry. Our sister churches are carrying the heavy load of providing facilities. We at Messiah have been committed to helping them carry that burden. We donate our time, food and dollars, including funding through our Endowment Fund. Thank you for your generosity!
INFORMATION ON VOLUNTEERING FOR WHO:
Winter shelters are open at St. Andrew Lutheran (for women, couples and families) and St. Paul Lutheran (for single men) from November 1 through March 31. There are many volunteer opportunities available. There are also different ways to sign up.
The Council for the Homeless website is a good resource: councilforthehomeless.org. Scroll half way down the home page and click on the box on the right labeled "Get Involved". It will take you to a page with a list of volunteer opportunities. The first box is labeled "Winter Weather Volunteer Support". Click on the box and then click again on the link that pops up labeled "Winter Weather Shelter Volunteering".
At this point, you will see a list of churches offering winter shelter volunteer opportunities. The boxes in blue are for the WHO churches providing shelter every day of the week during the winter season.
If you click on the "St. Paul" box, it will bring up the meal train for St. Paul. You can scroll down to an unfilled date and click on the green box labeled "Volunteer for this". They need a hot meal for 29 men each night. You may also text or call Laurene G, Outsiders Inn Meal Coordinator, at 316-836-0722.
If you click on the "St. Andrew" box, it will take you to the SignUp Genius system used by St. Andrew. It is very simple - just scroll down to an opening that works for you, then click on the orange box labeled "Sign Up" to provide your name, email address and phone number. Each day there are volunteer opportunities from 6:30 - 9:30 AM and from 6:00 - 9:00 PM, as well as sign ups for crock pot meals each evening at 6:00 PM.
Training for volunteers is available. Volunteering at a shelter is a rewarding experience, and a great way to help the least fortunate in our community know they are cared about!
Financial donations are always welcome also. It is possible to donate through the Council for the Homeless Website. From the website home page, hover over "give" at the top right, then click on "Donate Online". In order to direct the funds to WHO, please choose "Other" for the fund, and then in the comments type WHO. A check can also be mailed to: Council for the Homeless, 2500 Main Street, Vancouver, WA 98660.
Online donations can also be made at the WHO website. Go to: whoprogram.org and then click on the green "Donate Now" button.
Your support of WHO, and the homeless in our community, is much appreciated!
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