As the temperatures start to shift downward, the beds at the We Care cold-weather shelter are starting to fill up.
The 49-bed shelter at 219 S. Broadway provides night-time relief to homeless men during the colder months. The shelter has been averaging about 30 visitors a night since opening on Friday.
“The numbers are starting to creep up,” said We Care’s Interim Executive Director Barbara Olave. “With the stormy weather approaching, we’re happy to have them off the streets and in a warm bed with a hot meal.”
We Care offers the men more than just a place to sleep for a night. It provides dinners cooked by various volunteers, showers, and connections into programs that can help with substance abuse, temporary housing, job training, and counseling.
We Care, in operation since 2003, will provide nightly shelter for the next five months. The shelter opens at 6:30 p.m. and beds are assigned on a first come first served basis.
The shelter is primarily funded by grants, but offsets the costs with fund raising efforts. This year they are collecting recipes to include in a cookbook that will be sold to raise funds.
“We thought it was a good way to raise money and represent all the people who help with our meals,” Olave said.
With the opening of the nightly shelter, We Care is in need of items to help the men through the winter months. Needed items include: toiletries, socks, gloves, hats, blankets, cleaning supplies and mini hand sanitizers.
“Of course, we are always accepting contributions and volunteers,” Olave said.
Those interested in submitting recipes for the cookbook can send them along with pictures of the prepared dish if possible, to P.O. Box 1291, Turlock, CA 95381 or email them to firstname.lastname@example.org.