The Snoqualmie Valley Winter Shelter opened its doors December 23, 2012 at the North Bend Community Church. Last month it moved to the Mount Si Lutheran Church at 411 NE 8th Street in North Bend.
In just two short months, the winter shelter has served over 560 meals and provided about 350 bednights to people in the valley without a permanent roof over their head; accomplishing the simple goal of giving the local homeless a warm place to sleep during the year’s coldest months.
The winter shelter offers a needed, safe place for up to 40 homeless men, women and families with children (with Snoqualmie Valley connections) to sleep, share a meal and access information to help them. It operates from 8:30PM to 8AM, 7 days a week, with shelter patrons vacating the church by 7:15am each morning.
The local community has also banded together to provide meals for the shelter. A Take Them a Meal program was established by coordinators and has proved very successful during the shelter’s first year of operation – with local groups stepping up in a big way to cook meals for patrons.
Snoqualmie Valley Women in Business, the Kiwanis Club, Down to Earth Flowers, youth groups, local churches, neighborhood cul-de-sacs are just a few examples of meal donators. These groups come to the shelter when it opens and serve a healthy dinner. Many also provide breakfast for the following morning.
Mount Si Lutheran Church Pastor Mark Griffith commented how the shelter meal program has provided a wonderful opportunity for community members who want to give back and just needed an outlet. The meals being served aren’t just pre-cooked, basic stuff either. These groups are putting in the effort, creating big, home cooked meals and then donating the time to set up and serve them, too.
Pastor Griffith also pointed out that through volunteers being at the shelter and getting to know the patrons, 7-9 of these patrons now have part-time jobs.
If you’re interested in getting involved, visit the shelter’s Take Them a Meal website where you can schedule a day to provide a meal. There are also opportunities to simply donate needed food and drinks items. This past weekend, meal coordinators said via the website that fruit cups, soft granola/protein bars, juice and coffee (decaf & reg) were needed.