Although the recent winter weather has been moderate, the need for housing continues to mount. The last two weeks at OBK Shelter were met with daily requests for help and sheltering of up to 32 people. The cots were set up for the overflow and the volunteer schedule needed to be doubled up. Continuing the pattern of earlier in the season, most of our new folks are families with children.
We continue to struggle with having enough volunteers. Since those of us who do spend time in the shelter find it fun and rewarding, it's really difficult to understand why more volunteers are not coming forward, and why those who have had training, are not signing up for shifts. We need help!
Many successes can be reported this month with multiple jobs found, housing and potential housing for some, and a continued warm and supportive environment for the guests. A guest returned from rehab a changed man!
The guests are contributing to a box for uplifting comments addressed to others which is read at morning meeting and provides much needed encouragement. Spiritual and emotional support are thriving at OBK!
We hired Maureen to staff over nights with volunteer Stephan. We are looking forward to having someone to count on for consistent supervision and helping with clerical, sanitation, and inventory needs while the guests sleep. We hope to find funding for a kitchen manager to help provide nutritious and economical meals.
OBK continues to build relationships with local church congregations and we seek an OBK advocate for each church. We hope churches will assume some of the fundraising needed and are thankful for Immanuel Lutheran's recent Swedish dinner donation and St Mary's free will offering over the holidays.
For all reading this, there is a way to help by giving time, funding, advocacy, mentoring, transportation, and prayers.
May it be so.
Rev. James Young