With far fewer shelter beds than the number of unsheltered neighbors who need them, weather hazards resulting from winter snow storms & freezing temperatures, severe thunderstorms, and hurricanes create dangerous, and often life-threatening situations for the hundreds of neighbors living unsheltered in the Richmond area. The City of Richmond opens a Cold Weather Overflow Shelter when temperatures drop below 40 degrees and sometimes during dangerous weather events. But accessing it for most of those we serve is nearly impossible due to their distance from the shelter. For many of them, the nearest bus stop is over two miles away, and the shelter is over seven miles away from most of their camps. Very few are able to make that trek.
Those whom we've transported to this shelter have refused to stay more than one night; if even that, due to the conditions inside. For them, sharing confined spaces in a shelter that prohibits pets, lacks showers & meals, with dozens battling addictions, mental health challenges, and deteriorated hygiene habits, is a disaster waiting to happen. They opt instead to endure the weather alone and outside.
For those who can't get to the shelter and those who can't endure it, we provide dignified Emergency Shelter in local motels. As of October 15th, your generous donations have provided Emergency Shelter for 103 homeless men, women, and children, for a total of 581 nights in motels, at a cost of $34,313 so far in 2019. Thank you to everyone who has made this possible!
Of the 581 nights we've provided in motels, 19 were Dignity Stays. When available funds permit, we provide a Dignity Stay for one night in a motel for a few of our unsheltered friend who haven't bathed in several weeks. This brief respite from their homeless nightmare allows them to enjoy a hot shower, sleep in a real bed with clean sheets, and relax in an air conditioned or heated room shielded from the elements.
Winter weather is rapidly approaching, and so is Christmas! No one should have to spend Christmas Eve and Christmas Night outside in the cold! Our solution is called Room in the Inn 2019.