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November 14, 2019

A Note about Our Northern Kentucky Homeless Population Needs

35 for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.’  – Matthew 25:35-36

Last night, the Executive Director of the Emergency Shelter of Northern Kentucky met with a large group of interested Lakeside Presbyterian Church members. Kim Webb shared about some immediate needs in the community. For numerous reasons, the shelter is now able to house only 32 people at a time. At the moment, that means that dozens of people are scrambling to find shelter on freezing nights like those experienced this past week.

The challenge of homelessness in our area is layered and ongoing, but there are times when clear cut needs emerge. It appears we are in such a moment.

We can help.

The Emergency Shelter is partnering with area organizations to create ad hoc overnight shelters. The Salvation Army offers their space from 9pm-7am nightly. But to make that work, they need to set up and break down that space daily, collect and wash all linens, and transport people back and forth between sites. That takes extra stuff, extra staff, and extra volunteer labor. That’s where we come in!

There are multiple ways to help directly with the shelter. Check out the shelter’s website (http://emergencyshelternky.org/help-out/), follow them on Facebook, or refer to this wish list: http://emergencyshelternky.org/help-out/wish-list/#.

Along with responding individually to their needs, we would like to respond as a church community. To that end, here are a few specific actions:

This Saturday, November 16:

  • Heat up casseroles (I will move one from our freezer into the refrigerator today) and bring them to serve at the shelter starting at 5pm. We just need one or two volunteers for this as we cannot have more than that in their space.
  • Volunteer outside of the shelter at 6:00 PM.
    • Kim says intake is at 5pm, so by 6pm they will need help delivering blankets and mattresses over to the Salvation Army, help setting up that space, etc.
  • Collect items between now and then to deliver. If you would like to donate things from their wish list, blankets (no fleece or throws, please), yoga mats or pre-packaged snack/breakfast items, drop them off at church between now and Saturday. I will pick them up from the church on my way to the shelter on Saturday night. These should be delivered to the church no later than 5:00pm on Saturday.

You can sign up to help with this short-term plan here: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/20F094DAAA822A5F58-emergency.

We have also been in contact with the Shelter’s Administrative Assistant, Ruslyn Case-Compton, and she has created additional signups for us and any other volunteers:

Thanks for stepping up and reaching out as a church community as we figure out how to love our neighbors. We know that your time is valuable and appreciate that we can be the kind of community partner that offers what we can, when we can!

Spread the word, hope to see you on Saturday, and thanks for your response to brothers and sisters need.

In Christ,

Louisa

 

The Rev. Louisa W. Umphres

Associate Pastor, Lakeside Presbyterian Church

[email protected]