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Jobless, Foodless, Homeless, BUT NOT BEDLESS

 

No matter how nice or cold the weather is, it seems that there are many warm beds to be handed out for people in need. The beds are free to anyone who can find a place in line and wait. Once the doors are open, people are welcomed to spend the night under a warm roof.

At this time, the Siloam Mission dedicates one of its three floors for people to sleep. This is a wonderful place for people to stay and find sanctuary. All those who spend the night at the mission are really very grateful! Still, even at very late hours on any given night, there is always a small crowd of people who show up seeking a place for one hour’s sleep, or just to warm up. The shelter offers refuge.

The Siloam mission does have its rule to follow. Mornings are a no-sleep-in- situation. This gives a full day, and is an opportunity to learn good systematic "wake up" habits. Everyone is generally woken up at 6:15 a.m., however, now that it is cold, the wake- up call time has been extended.

Everyone who spent the night is offered the opportunity to volunteer for a morning, when it is possible for them to do so. With enough volunteers, the clean up takes about one and a half hours, even if all the beds are full. The 8 – 11 people who volunteer have their names placed on a list which allows them, that evening, to enter the shelter before anyone else.

While people who stayed the night are getting dressed and ready to leave, the doors to the Mission remain closed. Then at 8:00 a.m., the doors are opened to the first floor where really good coffee is served. During the work week, a person shows up to make coffee that rivals the best coffee offered by donut shops.

Breakfast starts at 9:00 a.m. The menu varies depending on the types of donations people have brought to the Mission. After breakfast, the doors remain open until 2:00 p.m. and lunch is served. Monday and Wednesday a supper is served between 7:00 – 8:00 p.m. which leaves people time to volunteer for clean up, or to find a place close to the beginning of line. On Sunday, the Mission also serves a lunch between 3:30 and 4:30 p.m., although people stay until 5:00 p.m. to finish their meals.

All the people who go to the Mission really appreciate the many different types of volunteers who partake in all the breakfast, lunch, and supper preparations. People come from small towns to help the Mission staff. High schools students show up to fill plates with salad, buns, and great meals of all sorts. Even a Vietnamese musical troop came by the play Christmas carols for people while they ate supper. Even outdoors when the people are waiting in line to be let in, some people show up with charity gifts of toques and mittens. People have even showed up after socials and special events with sandwiches to hand out to anyone that wants one. It is even shocking sometimes to see the kindness offered thanks to the Siloam Mission. The efforts and gifts of all these volunteers are greatly appreciated.

The Siloam Mission helps people who have jobs, who go to school, or who are disabled. Everyone who supports the Mission’s work deserves a great big thank you, even though the people who are never really seen or recognized. God bless all those warm-hearted people.

Fred 12/07/07