IPH Extends Shelter Services

During the past weeks of cold temperatures and continued snowfall, Interfaith Partnership for the Homeless (IPH) has helped provide warmth for people in need.  To accommodate the most vulnerable members of our community living on the streets during this winter season, IPH will be expanding hours and providing more meals for those in desperate need.

In addition to the city-wide Code Blue initiative, which aims to seek and shelter homeless individuals when the temperature is below 10 degrees, IPH will be extending the hours of its daytime program, the Sheridan Hollow Drop-In Center, to shelter up to 12 individuals during the cold overnight hours and weekends.  The extended shelter services will provide beds, meals, showers, and clothing to those who will otherwise be facing freezing outdoor temperatures.

“We’ve seen a number of individuals who have nowhere else to go,” explained IPH Executive Director, Janine Robitaille.  Many of the individuals who are living on the street have lost their benefits or were previously non-compliant, leaving them without access to shelters.  “Our staff is working hard around the clock so that these individuals have a place to stay.  This isn’t something we planned for this season, but it’s the right thing to do.”

IPH’s extended hours are helping to save lives for those forced to brave extreme temperatures.  Nicholas, a homeless veteran, has been street homeless for a few months, panhandling during the day to earn enough money for the night at a hotel.  One night while sleeping on the street, he began to experience symptoms of hypothermia and became unconscious.  Fortunately, his girlfriend who was with him was able to wake him and move into a building that provided an escape from the cold.  Nicholas knew he couldn’t sleep outside any longer.

“It was such a relief when I found out that there was somewhere we could go,” said Nicholas.  “It’s a constant stress every single day hoping to find enough money for a hotel, or freeze to death.  It’s a whole lot off my shoulders.”

Nicholas is one of the individuals that influenced Robitaille’s decision to extend IPH’s shelter services.  On the day that Nicholas found IPH, he was wearing worn shoes and his feet had signs of frostbite.  Robitaille went out and bought Nicholas a pair of new winter boots and welcomed him to the shelter.

“After all I’ve been through, I forgot how generous people can be.  I’m reminded that there are people out there that are good people,” said Nicholas.”

IPH is looking for community support to keep the extended shelter open for the remainder of the winter season.  Financial contributions can be made here.  A $30 donation shelters one individual for one night.  A $360 donation shelters 12 individuals for one night.  Donations cover meal, showers, bed, and staffing.  Meal donations for the 12 individuals in the extended shelter are also welcomed.  Other wish list items include winter socks, new men’s and women’s winter boots, winter coats, blankets, and towels.

To get involved or learn more, contact Volunteer Coordinator, Adriana Battle at (518) 434-8021 x108 or [email protected].

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