Spring 2014 State of The Refuge Report
This season The Refuge was consistently at or near our capacity for most of the time. Add to that the 3 families with a total of 5 children all staying at the same time and our shelter was stretched to its limits for housing.
This winter we housed a total of 52 individuals.
This winter we also turned away an *approximated 42 individuals this included families with children.
*Many times the number of persons in the family was not determined at the time of call since it was often unnecessary in order to know if our shelter would be an option for the family.
Guests were turned away for various reasons, two of the top reasons being:
- Limited space at the shelter
- No place for families with small children to stay warm at during the day until The Refuge opened again for the evening.
The need is great, but because of decreasing volunteers over the last three years The Refuge is facing a critical point.
We can't grow to meet the need of the homeless and we can't maintain what we currently offer.
In the last three years we've gone from an 8 member board to 4 members due mostly to the fact that most of our board has been comprised of people who've been members for 5 years or more. This has left gaps in the work load that haven’t been filled consistently.
- We've lost a total of 8 churches over the last 3 years due to shifts in church attendance.
- Only 3 new churches have covered the gap leaving us still 5 short.
- We’ve gone from offering 22 weeks of shelter through the winter to 17 weeks.
The board has discussed many options such as:
- Limits on families that will be eligible to stay at The Refuge
- An even shorter season for The Refuge to be open
- Restrictions on walk-ins to the shelter
These policies won't solve the issue of dwindling volunteers, which needs to be addressed immediately.
We are hopeful though. We are certain that what we are doing is what God has called us to do. We will continue to keep offering hope to homeless in Lapeer.
The solution to the current state of The Refuge is based in part to your response.
Caring for our community takes all of us doing our part. Everyone has something to offer.
Jesus left us with the command to love God and love others. Love is an action, so let’s do something beautiful for our community! Help us offer hope to homeless in Lapeer County.
Take the next step! Volunteer.