During the season our shelter staff and volunteers have an inside view of what our guests face everyday being homeless. Here are some of the stories and reasons they are so dedicated to helping the most vulnerable in our community.
"One of the first freezing days of the season, guest S.T. came up to me and asked for a blanket to help him make it through the day. We started a conversation and at that moment, S.T. told me “You know, before this, before I was homeless. I was losing hope in human beings but after becoming homeless I realized the good in people and how people actually want to help others.” Which I responded with, “There are good people all around us". - J.M.
Why would someone volunteer at a homeless shelter?
"Here is a quick simple answer. I try to fill my day with productive activity. Most of the time is filled with activities that one needs to complete to live independently and productively BUT there are a few hours that can be spent affecting the lives of others. These “others” are experiencing unfortunate circumstances that can happen to anyone. So for those few hours I provide energy to complete simple tasks. In return I feel the appreciation of guests and staff. This is a nice gift for offering a little time and energy necessary for the program to meet the needs of deserving people. It’s simple!" -Bridget Caflisch
“I volunteer at the shelter because it is my way of expressing a deep desire to help others. I hear God's call through my Catholic Faith to give part of my time to serve the under served. God's most important message to us is to "love one another". The best way I know how to do that is to perform many small deeds at the shelter that benefit the homeless, the hungry, the impoverished, and the lonely; I'm satisfied at the end of my shift that I made a difference in their lives. It is an honor to serve the under served.” -Gerry Arens
“It is hard to explain exactly why I volunteer at the Warming Shelter. There was a time in my working life when I worked the overnight shift at a hospital. I had a lot of time to listen to a radio program, the Pacific Garden Mission, which dramatized peoples' lives that were helped through this homeless shelter in Chicago. After listening to a lot of these stories I have felt a "calling" to help in any way I could in a shelter environment. Volunteering has always made me feel better after the volunteer opportunity has occurred. This feeling has always far over-weighed the effort put into it. I highly recommend it to EVERYBODY!” -Dale Prey
"Our family has been involved, in some capacity, with the shelter since its inception. We firmly believe in the mission of not only providing food and shelter for those in need, but in supporting those individuals along the path to steady employment, permanent housing, and other personal goals. To spend any time in the shelter is to understand the sense of warmth and community that permeates the space and we feel grateful to be able to contribute to that sense. Providing a warm meal to others is a form of love in our family, a love that we enjoy extending to the guests of the shelter. We look forward to these opportunities to connect with one another and with shelter guests". -Larie/Galica families