Women’s Shelter will reopen on December 4

Community support and increased staffing will provide women with safety, warmth and meals this winter

A few weeks ago, I made the difficult decision to shelter men and women in one facility to begin the season. That decision was due to not having enough staff to operate both our overnight shelters fully and safely.

Despite our robust recruiting efforts over the summer, about 25 percent of our shelter shifts were unfilled on November 1st.

Since then, we have been sheltering men and women at 411 St. John Street in separate sleeping areas. The nightly average has been around 100 adults. Our staff has done remarkedly well in creating a safe and welcoming space for all our guests struggling with homelessness.

Now that it has been three weeks since shelter season began, I thought it would be appropriate to provide an update on the status of our Women’s Shelter.

And it is great news!  St. John’s Ministries will be fully opening our Women’s Shelter on the evening of Monday, December 4th.

This is made possible because our community spread the word about our open positions and candidates applied for shelter shifts. While we still need to hire some overnight shifts to provide flexibility for our staff, we feel comfortable with our strategy. Please continue to spread the word or consider applying so we can strengthen our rotation of seasonal staff.

Unfortunately, I also need to share some sobering news regarding our homeless brothers and sisters.

St. John’s Ministries is encountering a very high number of guests seeking shelter. From November 13th to 20th we sheltered an average of 75 men and 36 women per night. Those are staggeringly high numbers this soon in the shelter season. Our concern is that as the weather turns colder the number of adults seeking shelter will rise significantly, stretching our available resources.

Shelter and case management services are needed now more than ever. We need your help.

Click this link to begin your monthly donation.

This Thanksgiving, I am grateful to each one of you for offering prayers, donations, and meals to support our ministry. I am thankful for job applicants stepping forward, often out of retirement, to apply for shelter positions. I am overwhelmed by your kindness and passion to do good in our community.

Finally, I have always said that St. John’s Ministries seems more like a family than a workplace. You prove that repeatedly. I wish you an enjoyable Thanksgiving amongst family and friends.

Jesse Brunette
Executive Director

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