On May 31st, the Beaches Branch of the Interfaith Shelter Network held the final wrap-up meeting for the 2015- 2016 shelter season. This past season, twenty-seven people were sheltered for more than 1,300 nights, and over 3,950 meals were served in our branch area. The Interfaith Shelter Network extends their gratitude and thanks to all the volunteers who have made this shelter season in the Beaches Branch a success. Over the Interfaith Shelter Network’s thirty years, a total of more than 8,900 people have been sheltered, over 220,000 of them without having to build shelters or hire staff, thanks to the many congregations, their members, and friends.
The wrap-up meeting provided an opportunity to meet with our other Beach Branch congregations to share successes, discuss “what went well” moments, and to get updates on some of our previous shelter guests. There are many unseen dangers involved with living on the streets. Although during the past 30 years more than 50% of our sheltered guests have left the program to live in their own homes, others still deal with the challenges of homelessness. This past season one of our families was able to get into the twelve month shelter program, and others were in the 90-day program at Cortez Hill.
Please keep in prayer some of our former guests as they still continue to deal with the challenges of homelessness. One husband and wife couple got into a low income housing unit. One of our guests, with help and services of the dental clinic, was able to have complete dental work done, resulting in raised self-esteem, leading the individual to seek employment. We are making a difference to all who come through our doors seeking services here.
The 2016-2017 Interfaith Shelter season is getting ready to start again, with upcoming training Saturday, September 17, 2016, from 9 AM to Noon at First United Methodist Church. If you are looking for an opportunity to increase your involvement, you should attend this meeting.
PB UMC will serve as host during the 2016-2017 season, late January to early February. Exact dates will be confirmed within the next two months. Thanks again to all who volunteered and for your continued support.
Also in September, the Interfaith Shelter Network will hold its 30th gala event, Celestial Nights. For our long standing involvement and work in our homeless ministries, PB UMC will be honored at this event. Celestial Nights is September 24, 2016. Proceeds from the Gala benefit the Interfaith Shelter Network. There are discounted tickets at $75; a table of eight costs $600. The regular price for the general public is $100. Please contact Ken B. if you would like to attend.