We are halfway through our third season of sheltering and feeding those in need in Delta County at The Abraham Connection/Delta County Homeless Shelter. Partly because we are becoming more well known and partly because people continue to struggle to make ends meet, we find ourselves poised to surpass last season's numbers.
Last season, we served 91 people, provided 679 bednights, and served over 1,117 meals. Months away from our closing date of April 30, we have provided nearly 450 bednights already. The need is very much prevalent for a permanent homeless shelter and day treatment center, where we can tackle the issues causing homelessness to begin with and help people get back on their feet.
Many in the community have donated, and donated very generously, to our organization to assist us in purchasing our own building. In October, we launched a massive fundraising campaign for a new building. We sought private donations and wrote several grant applications. We are happy to report that we have a little over $70,000 in the bank. Our goal is to raise another $30,000 and seek $100,000 in grants to purchase our own building. At this time, we have no specific location in mind. We simply continue to fundraise and know that when the time is right for us to have a "home of our own," the pieces will fall into place.
To each and every one of you who gave to our building campaign, and to those who continue to give financially or with your time to the operations of the shelter, thank you, from the bottom of our hearts. We are grateful there are those in our community who recognize the need and who are willing to step up and help address the issue of homeless and hungry Delta County residents.
Lastly, we would like to say that "solving" the problem of homelessness in Delta County will take a major, countywide effort. It will take educators to teach our guests job skills. It will take employers to step up and hire our guests. It will take massive mental health services. It will take health and human services personnel helping our guests to get into public housing, apply for Social Security or apply for public benefits. We provide the immediate needs of a warm meal and a warm, safe bed for the night, but our guests need so much more to become, once again, self-sufficient. We have been blessed to have a supportive core group behind us that offer these services as they can, but it will take all of us working together to create lasting results in the lives of our guests.
If at any time you have questions, comments or concerns about our operation, would like more information, or want to know how you can get involved, don't hesitate to call us at 773-8290.
Board of Directors,
Father Tom Seibert
Pastor Kenny Pettis