THE OPEN SHELTER – 2020 YEAR IN REVIEW
2020 was a struggle. We are sure everyone can agree on that. We all had to make changes and face unprecedented challenges. From the current pandemic to social injustice and civil unrest, we had to answer hard questions and make tough decisions. We and those we serve were also confronted with the unfortunate passing of our Director Emeritus, Kent Beittel. It was a crushing blow after his many years of dedication, leadership and compassion. But we were able to persevere. We were able to confront all of these obstacles and stay behind with those left behind. That was because of YOU. YOU made it possible to keep our doors open through all of these challenges. YOU made sure we were still there for the most vulnerable. YOU made sure we were able to help our guests; homeless and marginally housed men, women and children. YOU allowed us to help your neighbors.
Because of your support, we were able to assist 2,514 individuals, 966 of whom were “living on the streets”. 62,401 sack lunches and 73,496* ‘to-go’ meals were provided thanks to your generous support. We also assisted 71 individuals through our “Payeeship” program, which helps homeless and recently homeless persons who need third party money management. In 2020, we helped transition 65 people into housing. We were able to assist those persons ‘living on the land’ 1,229 times with items such as tents, tarps, backpacks, sleeping bags, ‘bed rolls’ and candles. 4,850 instances of clothing assistance and 1,084 hygiene kits were provided to those in need. We also provided access to phone, copier, fax and computers in addition to providing a mailing address.
In 2021, we join everyone in hoping for an eventual return to whatever may be considered “normal”. The Open Shelter, along with YOUR support, will continue to meet any challenges and be there for those with nowhere else to turn. Thank You for allowing us to continue to be, in Kent’s words, “a covered piece of the sidewalk”.