Red Kettle Campaign At Fifty Seven Percent
The Salvation Army’s Red Kettle Campaign count is at 57% of $160,000 goal. Meeting the campaign goal means its warming shelter continues to offer the homeless a resource that, in the words of one client, “makes me feel human again.”
The Salvation Army of Fond du Lac opened its doors as Fond du Lac County’s only warming shelter for its second season November 1. Every night until March 31, those with no place to call home enter the building at 6 pm. There is a warm meal provided by a host of community groups, opportunity to do laundry, showers with toiletries, fellowship and a secure, healthy sleeping environment at bedtime. Forty bedbug proof, hypo-allergenic beds stand in place of last year’s 20 year old disaster service cots.
Lights go out nightly at 9:15 pm and come on early each morning, so guests have time to rise ‘n shine, eat breakfast and grab nourishing “to go” snacks before leaving for the day.
Already past its first month marker, the shelter is closing in on its 40 bed capacity. Plummeting temperatures steadily drive the nightly number up.
Social Services Director Ron Jacobson and warming shelter supervisor Cheyenne Post implement changes, including collaborations with The Fond du Lac Public Library, Church of Peace, and St. Paul’s Cathedral that ensures the homeless have public shelter during the day.
A new “day storage” keeps client belongings secure. Knowing their few possessions are safe during the day frees clients to pursue interviews and work.
This year brings renewed focus on securing and offering resources clients need to achieve higher self-sufficiency. Casework provides support and guides clients “back on their feet.” Just shortly after Thanksgiving, one client moved into his own apartment.
The warming shelter will be open Christmas Day. Ask clients what they wish for and you’ll get a list. “Most wish for jobs and homes,” Jacobson shares. “Others answer “a new life, a fresh start,” “a big hug and someone to tell me I’m safe,” and “for people to show each other love and compassion.”
The 2017 Red Kettle Campaign provides critical funds to keep the warming shelter open and staffed, creating opportunity for every client to believe in themselves and their ability to make their wishes real. To find out more, call 923-8220, like us on Facebook, go to www.safdl.org.
Pictured Green Garden Club members Sandy Smet, Dorothy Wollersheim, and Charlotte Nelson donated three shopping carts of warming shelter supplies.