Coming in out of the cold - Shoreline Severe Weather Shelter finishes winter season and thanks the people who made it happen

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

St. Dunstan's Church in Shoreline hosted the cold weather shelter

March 31, 2021 signaled the end of the second year of activation for the Severe Weather Shelter in Shoreline.

The shelter provided critical support during some of our coldest nights this past winter. The shelter was activated ten times between November 1st and March 31st, with an average of six guests per night. 

We are grateful to have been able to offer a warm, dry, and welcoming space for those who wanted to get out of the elements (or their vehicles) and enjoy a hot drink, some snacks and resources, relax, and sleep.

People hear about the activation in a couple of different ways. The night before, an email goes out to a distribution list of 75 people who are in agencies that interact with folks who might need a warm safe space for the night. And Shoreline Area News posts an activation notification. 

This year, Diane Hettrick suggested that, in addition to the notification email and change to the hotline message, we also create a dedicated Facebook page with a daily update. And of course, that was a brilliant addition.

The cold weather shelter at
St. Dunstan's Church
Volunteers worked in shifts of two people in twelve hour shifts. Huge thanks to Annthea Vining, Brian Peterka, Corinne McKisson, Devon Peterka, Florence Gustafson, Jason Metcalf-Lindenburger, Meghan Peterka, Michael Fleming, and Mike Dee for taking those shifts this season. 

Thanks also to volunteer Stephanie Henry for updating the Ronald United Methodist reader board to announce activation nights.

For the above and beyond award, we recognize Lake City Partners' Jonathan Neufeld, who opened every night with our volunteers and came back every morning to help close up. 
Between the day center, the Bitter Lake shelter that opened up, and the SWS, he was definitely burning the candle at both ends, and for that we owe him many thanks.

Thank you goes to the phenomenal Rev David Marshall and the wonderful congregation at St. Dunstan's Church for offering such a gracious space to welcome our guests, and for being so easy to work with.

Thank you to the City of Shoreline, and especially Bethany Wolbrecht-Dunn, without whom we couldn't have made this happen this year. She did all the background checks, worked logistics and permits, and supported the whole program 110%.

Thank you to bridge-building nonprofit NUHSA, and especially Silje Sodal, who covered every base imaginable (and even some that weren't). Every last detail was attended to, every resource tapped, every connection made.

And thanks to the community for supporting the effort. We had clothing, sleeping bags and blankets, snacks, publicity, and well wishes sent our way over the last few months, and it makes all the difference for those who can then enjoy a simple mat, a fully belly, a place to plug in, and a night of warmth and security.

Once again, I count myself lucky to be in this community when it shows up in such a multifaceted, multi-layered, loving way.

Lisa Surowiec
Severe Weather Shelter Volunteer Coordinator and NUHSA Board member


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