Monday, February 12, 2007

The Mission is Packed During the Cold Nights

Over 600 men, women and children are staying at the Mission each night during the cold weather. Looking through the windows of the Men's Campus at 432 East Jefferson Street you can easily see men sleeping on the floor in overflow areas like the dining room. About 130 mats are used each night to accomodate the additional people.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Good Samaritan Patrol Goes Out Nightly in the Cold

Recent drops in temperature have been increasingly problematic for homeless who typically are not staying in shelters. Because of many issues some homeless people do not venture into shelters even on cold nights like we are anticipating tonight, wind chill = -10 degrees. Mental illness and alcoholism accounts for most of the resistance but physical distance and problems with crowed conditions also are reasons. This winter as in the past, the Mission has had its Good Samaritan Patrol searching the streets looking for those who have not made it inside. Our volunteer patrolmen and patrolwomen find people living under bridges, overpasses, and in camps along the Ohio. Some go into places that are open all night like White Castles, University Hospital’s Emergency Room waiting area, the Hall of Justice and the bus station. Often our volunteers in the patrol will drop by these locations and offer rides and help. When a person refuses to come in out of the cold an offer of hot coffee, a sandwich and blanket is made. For many of these people, often veterans, this is the only lifeline to resources. Our volunteers are truly heroes, fighting the cold and keeping people alive. Many volunteers pray with and for those they encounter.