Overnights of Hospitality was started to provide relief from overcrowding at NOAH Shelter. Now NOAH has empty beds due to the success of programs which have enabled clients to obtain permanent subsidized housing.
The Council of Churches overnights program will be replaced by a new program, “Homeless Ministries” which will help homeless persons find housing, particularly in cooperative housing run by Homeless, Not Helpless. Finding and keeping permanent housing has been made more difficult by reduction of government support at federal and state levels. These cuts have increased the number of people living in poverty and in critical need of all kinds of assistance.
A new Homeless Ministries team will include Jill Scalese, formerly Case Management Director for the Overnights program, who will work with the women, and Bob Lynch, the Council’s Street Outreach worker, who will work with the men. They will be joined by a new Council staff member, Caroline Kotoski, Coordinator of Volunteers. Caroline was House Manager and Office Manager for Homeless Not Helpless and is also working for her Master’s Degree in Rehabilitative Counseling. Caroline’s first job will be to recruit volunteers from previous overnights workers and to attract new volunteers. There will be many opportunities to participate. There is a need for tutors, particularly in math and in preparing people to take the GED (High School Equivalency) Exam. There is a need for one-on-one mentoring/friendship, for visiting at the residences, advocating and training in cooking, computers, and other skills, Whatever your skills and interests, you will probably find an opportunity here.
Fr. Ken Campbell will coordinate the Hospitality Housing program at the Church of the Holy Spirit. Call him at 508-240-5169 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or if you would like to volunteer.