By Polly Keary, Editor
The people seeking shelter on the winter’s coldest nights, as well as the people volunteering to assist them, will have a much easier time this year figuring out where to go.
Last year, the newly-created shelter moved between several different locations, depending on the night of the week.
That meant that any night that was projected to dip below freezing, homeless and volunteers alike had to check calendars to remember which location would be open.
But this year, New Hope Fellowship, a church on Main Street, has offered to open its doors on any night colder than 32 degrees.
“There will be a lot less confusion,” said Hannah Lunstrum, a leading organizer of the temporary winter shelter program.
Starting in approximately mid-November, and carrying through mid-March, on any night slated to drop below freezing, people who might otherwise be dangerously cold can come to the New Hope Fellowship for a warm, safe place to sleep.
Blankets are provided, and the sleeping area is supervised through the night by volunteers.
Last year, about four people per night on average turned up for a warm night’s sleep. In all, about 14 people were served over the course of the winter.
Blankets were donated by a local Baptist church, the city of Monroe allows the shelter use of several cots, and the YMCA does the laundry.
There will be a fundraiser to raise some money to help the church with the cost of heating.
A volunteer training session is planned for Saturday, Oct. 26 at 10 a.m. at the New Hope Fellowship Church.
To learn more about how to be involved or to keep track of what nights the shelter is open, find Monroe Cold Weather Alliance on Facebook. During the winter, the city of Monroe maintains an information page on the shelter at www.monroewa.gov.
New Hope Fellowship is located at 1012 W. Main St. in Monroe.