February 01, 2019

Community Combats Cold for People who are Homeless

Cold temperatures are bringing more people who are homeless to the Drop-In Center.

For people in homelessness, the frigid winter months can be deadly. Staff and volunteers at the Mission and other members of the Bellingham community are fighting to save lives.

Local churches continue to work with the Mission host a cold-weather shelter at Fountain Community Church. The shelter has been open every night since December and will remain open until the end of the month. Last year, church volunteers offered 50 overnight spaces. This year, the cold-weather shelter added 30 more spots when the other shelters reach capacity on the coldest nights. This will be a great help with the cold weather that we’re expecting in the next few days.

Hans Erchinger-Davis, executive director of the Lighthouse Mission, said that people experiencing homelessness need our help now more than ever.

“So many of our neighbors are finding themselves outside overnight in dangerously cold weather,” Erchinger-Davis said. “I’m thankful for people who support the Mission. We need locals to continue donating and help care for people who are homeless.”

Street Connect is another of the Mission’s efforts to help people stay warm, according to Jessica Hess, a staff member at the Mission. Volunteers and staff take the Street Connect van out four nights a week to offer support, supplies, and invite people to the Drop-In Center.

“In the winter, Street Connect becomes a life-saving mission,” Hess said. We’ll give out cold-weather items like hats, gloves, blankets, hand-warmers and hot cider.”

The dark and icy winter months often make people without homes feel hopeless. But the Mission’s Outreach Manager, Jon Ng, said he wants them to realize that people in the community are committed to their safety and care.

“We want people to know they’re not beyond help,” Ng said. “They are not beyond our care. We will walk with them all the way to the finish line.”

If you encounter someone who is homeless, please direct them to Lighthouse Mission’s Drop-In Center located at 1013 W Holly St. in Bellingham.

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