Subzero Temperatures and a Call to Action
on Jan 25, 2021
On Friday when I got to work I couldn’t believe how cold it felt, so I looked at my phone’s weather app: 7 degrees with a wind-chill of minus 8. For those of us who work with the homeless, this is a scary thing to see; we know families and individuals are living in cars, in the woods, and on the streets, and every year we see how vulnerable they are when the temps drop this low.
This winter we’re seeing an unprecedented demand for shelter as the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic continues, and my team has been working double time running three shelters at capacity and operating a fourth shelter in a hotel. Even though I know they’re already working incredibly hard, I sent the whole team a message on Friday morning thanking them for their dedication and hard work, reminding them of those outside in the cold, and asking them, “Give it absolutely everything you’ve got today.”
My team listened. All day long they made phone calls, expedited paperwork, found every possible configuration of beds in our shelter to fit as many as possible while still maintaining social distance, and maxed out our capacity in the hotel shelter. By the end of the day, we had brought an additional 13 people into the warmth of our shelters, including a family that was living in their car with a baby.
I’m grateful for the incredible team we have, grateful for the community that supports us, and grateful to have the opportunity to make a difference in this way. The impact we have is real and lasting, and I can think of nothing better than being a part of it.
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