After a month of temporarily being closed, St. John’s Ministries reopened its Women’s Shelter on December 4th. This shelter provides women experiencing homelessness with a safe, warm, and caring place for them to move forward.
The facility was temporarily closed because of a staffing shortage that has since been resolved. During the time when the Women’s Shelter was temporarily closed, men and women were sheltered at 411 St. John’s Street, the site of St. John’s Ministries Men’s Shelter.
“We are very excited to reopen the Women’s Shelter,” St. John’s Ministries Executive Director Jesse Brunette said. “It was disheartening when I had to make the decision to consolidate shelter services to one location. I have had many conversations with female guests, and they understood the situation we faced. Those conversations were difficult, but I reassured them they would be welcomed at the Women’s Shelter soon.”
Prior to the shelter season beginning on November 1st, St. John’s Ministries had 25 percent of its shelter shifts unfilled. Since then, the St. John’s Ministries shelter team actively recruited, hired and trained the necessary staff needed to reopen the Women’s Shelter.
Brunette added, “The number of individuals showing up for overnight shelter is at a pace 19 percent higher than last year at this time. And last year was a record year. As we enter a time of severe cold weather, the new sobering reality for St. John’s Ministries is overcoming the growing costs of sheltering the larger number of adults who arrive at our doors. We need the community’s financial support, supplies, meals, and volunteer hours to adequately staff and provide shelter services and daytime resources. We would greatly appreciate any assistance the community can provide. Current conditions have created a dire need for shelter services, and we are committed to meeting that need.”
Last shelter season, St. John’s Ministries sheltered a record 605 individuals from November 1st through April 30th. This season, those numbers are at a pace 19 percent higher than last year. Since November 1st this year, St. John’s Ministries has sheltered 253 individuals for a total of 3,475 bed nights.