The Council for the Homeless coordinates with nonprofits and churches to offer overflow and satellite shelters to those on the streets when temperatures drop.
According to the organization, there are currently just under 400 year-round shelter beds in Clark County, and both the Winter Hospitality Overflow Shelters and the Satellite Overflow Shelters combine to add another 100 overnight beds seven days per week in the winter.
To help maintain these numbers, the organization is looking for volunteers to staff shelters, make meals, provide supplies and connect people to resources.
“We’re all vulnerable to what lives may put in our path,” Charlene Welch said. “Any kind of challenge that might make it that we are unstably housed or we are without a home and we want to shore up our community with hospitality and caring and compassion.”
Those looking to access the shelters can call 360-695-9677 Monday through Friday between 9 a.m. and 8 p.m. Weekends and holidays are also open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The WHO sites are St. Andrew Lutheran Church, which serves families, couples, and single women, and St. Paul Lutheran Church, which serves single men. The SOS sites are Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church, Immanuel Lutheran Church, and River City Church – all serving singles, couples, and families.
Cheryl Pfaff of Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church said it’s “an honor to welcome people into our building, provide a hot meal and hospitality.”
“All of the shelter partners do this year after year because we know it makes a difference in the lives of families and individuals in our community,” Pfaff said.