What happens in the off season?
During our operating season, Day By Day Warming Shelter is bustling with activity. Prior to guest arrival, our staff prepares the shelter area. Volunteers carry in trays of hot food. Community members drop by to drop off donations. With the presence of people, the shelter space becomes warm and inviting-a place that feels like home. Our 2015-2016 season came to a close on April 15th, after serving 123 unique individuals and hosting over 330 volunteers.
Although the shelter is considerably less busy in the off season, there is still work to be done and preparations to be made for the next season. From the administrative end, donations are received and processed, mailings are created and sent, operating systems reorganized and improved. One of the less known facts about our off season, however, is that our Shelter Operations Manager, Amanda Hammond, facilitates two weekly Community Outreach Days to continue serving our guests.
During these Outreach Days, held on Tuesdays and Thursdays, guests from the most recent season are able to utilize the shelter space, take showers, have their laundry done, pick up their mail, and connect with Amanda about potential resources available to them. Currently, anywhere from 8-15 guests will frequent the shelter on a given Community Outreach Day. The best part about providing the service? "Checking in with the guests. You worry about them when you don't see them on a regular basis," says Amanda. "They all need the days, as much for human connection as for meeting their physical needs. It's comforting for them to see a familiar face and be able to have a conversation."
Amanda will continue to provide the service for guests until the shelter reopens in October for the 2016-2017 season. Stay tuned for more shelter news. Exciting changes are underway as we move forward with our vision and purpose.