We open the shelter doors and in walks a friend

Tonight we opened the doors at Elim Strong Tower Shelters. The first person through the door was Michael. We met Michael last month at the Mall of America transit station while we were doing the annual Point in Time count of people experiencing homelessness with Governor Walz. (The picture at right is from that night.)

What are the odds? Michael looks a little different tonight; his eye is weepy. Last night he spent the night on the train and was attacked by two men trying to steal his bag. They hit him in head with a blunt object. But he kept his bag. We are so glad that he is with us tonight. It’s a reminder to thank Governor Walz for the $5 million Minnesota Homeless Fund to address unsheltered homelessness. And a reminder that we don’t know the stories of the people who cross our path but kindness is a good start to a new chapter.

We are here to offer kindness, shelter and a tasty meal. Tonight was a soft opening and for that we were glad. Staff got to know each other and guests. We set up donated televisions. Everyone enjoyed a delicious meal from Freedom from the Streets, a group of friendly, talented professionals who have experienced homelessness themselves. The guests are now asleep. Morning will come soon enough.

Tomorrow night we will be here again with doors open. We expect we will be filled soon, so now is a good time to get in. Guests can call us in advance to reserve a bed and once in, they can hold their space while they need it. If you know of someone in need, please send them our way:
Elim shelter phone number: 612.814.2490 (women only)
Strong Tower shelter phone number: 612.756.6606 (men and couples)

Published by Ann Treacy

Librarian who follows rural broadband in MN and good uses of new technology (blandinonbroadband.org), hosts a radio show on MN music (mostlyminnesota.com), supports people experiencing homelessness in Minnesota (elimstrongtowershelters.org) and helps with social justice issues through Women’s March MN.

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