Men’s Cold Weather Shelter

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UPDATE:  2/7/2017

STILL NEEDED TO REMAIN OPEN:
Overnight Supervisors: fully staffed but we could use an alternate
Evening Greeters: at least 2 more
Funds:  We are fully funded with enough supplies, etc to stay open through March

SHELTER CALENDAR (Who works tonight?)

Things are going pretty well, but please check the calendar for a few spots we have to fill.  Please remember that no one else is allowed in for dinner unless they are spending the night and if a women shows up to call the women’s emergency# in the manual.

 

 

Thanks for stepping up Silver City; here is our original post from November for the sake of background information …  

The Board of Directors of the Gospel Mission will open the men’s cold weather shelter at the Mission for this week beginning Saturday, Nov 19 through next Friday Nov 25. It will be staffed by board members and doors will open at 6:30 pm, but we need the communities help to keep it open this winter.

In order to keep it open after next Friday, Nov 25, we are asking for volunteers to help staff it and funds to help run it. We are seeking responsible adult males, 18 years of age or over who are willing to volunteer a night or two during the week to come down and stay awake all night and supervise the shelter. They must be willing and able to work with the population we serve and able to pass a background and drug test. Training will be provided.

We are also asking for an extra $150 a month to help with heating and utilities and wool blankets, extra food for dinners and greeters, either male or female who will open the doors at 5:30 pm and stay until 7:30 pm, prepare and serve dinner and set up our guests until the overnight volunteer arrives who will be on duty from 7:30 pm until 7:30 am.

If you are interested in lending a hand, please contact Randy Salars at manager@silvercitygospelmission.org, call the Mission at 388-5071 or drop by in person at 111 S. Texas St in downtown Silver City behind Jalisco’s Restaurant.

If you have any questions at all about grants we have received, how the Mission or board is run or anything else about the Mission please drop by and I will be happy to explain it in depth.

Donations can be made in person, by mailing a check to the Silver City Gospel Mission, PO Box 5198, Silver City, NM 88062 or by donating online by credit card at www.silvercitygospelmission.org

Thank you.
Randy Salars
Executive Director
Silver City Gospel Mission

 

 

FAQS:

What have you done to try and get the word out to both the homeless and the community?

  • We announced the shelter as open at the Mission, Signs were posted at the Mission, Jason Burke of ‘It Takes A Village’ was asked to help notify the homeless and Deb Nennich was asked to announce the shelter as open at their annual Thanksgiving meal (which they did)
  • Press releases sent to the Silver City Daily Press, Silver City Sun News, Grant County Beat and Silver City Radio
  • Help needed was announced on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and the Mission Webpage and newsletter
  • Church members/leaders were asked to ask their congregations for help: Calvary Chapel, New Hope Fellowship, Indian Hills Baptist Church, First Baptist Church, The Newman Center, The Presbyterian Church, Silver City Church of Christ, The United Church of Christ, Valley Community Church, Church of the Good Shepherd, United Methodist church, Harvest fellowship.
  • Detailed story was done by SC Daily Press

How can I help?

We need responsible male volunteers to act as overnight supervisors from 7:30 pm – 7:30 am; you may volunteer as little or as much as desired (daily, weekly, once a month, once)

We also like to open at 5:30 pm by using an evening volunteer greeter, either a male, 2 female, 2 male or a male and female volunteers who open the doors, get our guest settled in and provide dinner and start a movie on the projector.  (but this is not absolutely required-we can just open at 7:30 if needed, but it is usually cold and dark by this time).

Where can I donate?

You can donate online, or by mailing your check to the Silver City Gospel Mission, PO Box 5198, Silver City, NM  88061 or by credit card online here or directly at the front desk when the Mission is open.

The Mission is located at 111 S. Texas St. in downtown Silver City, directly behind Jalisco’s Restaurant and open Mon-Fri between 8:30 am and 1:30 pm; physical goods donations are normally taken on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday to give us a chance to put things away, but shelter donations will be taken anytime.

How much would it cost us to pay a supervisor to man it at night?

We are looking at around $100 per night for a 12 hour shift at min wage including taxes. Multiply that by 30 days and we have around $3,000 per month. Stay open through the end of March will bring it to around $12,000 in payroll, but this doesn’t include our heat, utilities and extra food.

Have you had problems in the past?

There have been a few problems in the past. We operate it as a wet shelter, which means that if our guests are impaired through drugs and alcohol, they may still stay if they aren’t in too bad of shape. Last year we had anywhere between 5 and 18 men use it each night. The ambulance had to transport someone to the hospital 3 times and the police had to be called 11 times. Food was stolen from the soup kitchen and the wall between the soup kitchen and thrift store was scaled and funds and supplies were stolen from the thrift store.  The overnight supervisor was caught drinking beer in the back with the guests, there was smoking inside the Mission and the greenhouse was used to go poop in.  It’s not a job for the faint of heart, but we will train you and most of the time the guys are just fine, friendly and very thankful. It’s when we don’t have responsible help combined with excessive drinking that things sometimes seem to get out of hand. It’s not a perfect situation, but it’s the only thing we have right now (if we get some volunteers this week-if not, it will remain closed).

Did you receive a grant to run the shelter?

Yes, we wrote and received a New Mexico Mortgage Finance Authority (MFA) grant this past year for $22,000 which would have covered payroll for an overnight supervisor and funds for heat, utilities, supplies and food.

Unfortunately, we were not able to receive these funds because we could not meet the requirements as set forth in their grant contract.  Primarily, our insurance company would not increase our medical coverage from $5,000 to $10,000 required by the grant and which was a deal-killer.  we were told that we were too high risk to do so, but we are currently shopping for another insurance company who might increase it.

We also had to submit a new grant budget, because the grant was unable to cover the Sierra House which was included in the original writing of the grant and had to be moved entirely over to the Mission.  We are still waiting to see if this new budget will be approved. (It wasn’t)

What do overnight supervisors do?

Overnight hosts are responsible male volunteers over 18 who can pass a background and drug test.  They arrive at the Mission at 7:30 pm and stay awake all night to supervise the shelter and close the doors at 7:30 am. (or if we can get enough volunteers, we can split shifts, etc but so far that hasn’t happened as we barely have enough to keep it open).

You can read more about their duties here , see the Mission Safety Rules here and see the shelter calendar here.

What do evening greeters do?

Evening volunteer greeters arrive at 5:30 pm and leave at 7:30 pm when the overnight supervisor arrives.  They will open the Mission, make coffee, feed our guests dinner (which we normally have ready), get them set up with cots and blankets and turn on a movie for them.  If for some reason the overnight host does not arrive and they are unwilling or unable to stay, they will ask everyone to leave, turn everything off and lock up the Mission for the night.

These volunteers can be a male, 2 females or a male and a female.  Read more about shelter ops here.

Where is the cold weather shelter held?

The shelter is held inside the Gospel Mission Soup Kitchen and entrance is gained through the gate and walkway on the right-hand side of the Mission.  Lunch tables are broken down and moved to the sides and army cots with wool blankets are set up for the night.  It normally runs from mid-November through March, depending on the weather and funds and volunteers needed to keep it open.

What about homeless women?

We have a women and children’s transitional house named the Sierra House which is currently full and you can read more about here.  There is also El Refugio domestic violence shelter which has 32 beds and normally requires a police report to get in.

Occasionally, we can put women up in a hotel room for a night or two using funds from the Salvation Army which the Mission is a member of, but these funds are very limited and depend upon how much money we collect each year when we ring bells at Christmas time.

We do not allow overnight emergency stays at the Sierra House becasue we have had problems in the past with impaired women bothering the children we have living there.

Update:  We can now put homeless women up at the Church of the Desert SW on an emergency basis; please call the number for the emergency women’s shelter in the manual

What about young men under 17 years of age?

Due to legal concerns and liability issues, the men’s cold weather shelter is only open to males 18 years of age or older.  We only allow children to stay in the Sierra House women’s shelter if their mother is present, so we have nowhere to place these young men.

The only alternative for cases like these is to put them up for a night or 2 in a hotel, send them to McDonald’s or WalMart which are open all night or hopefully have someone or some organization take them in.