What homelessness taught the CDC about PPE (poor people’s environments)

This could have been titled Underdressed for Company-but you know that storyline-though appropriate to how those experiencing homelessness might feel living in public without being on trend to today’s proper accessory. As Elim Church and Strong Tower Parish shelters were visited this week by CDC staff from Atlanta and elsewhere, along with staff from theContinue reading “What homelessness taught the CDC about PPE (poor people’s environments)”

The gift of prayer before dinner at the homeless shelters

Every night before dinner is served, a prayer is said or read by the guests or staff of Elim Church and Strong Tower Parish shelters. A prayer of gratitude for food or survival or a prayer of encouragement sent by community members. In this video, military veteran, senior, and stage 4 cancer patient Scott (sharedContinue reading “The gift of prayer before dinner at the homeless shelters”

An intimate gesture in a time of Coronavirus: a nervous and touching moment in the homeless shelter

When I learned a Covid-positive guest had stayed with us during the week, the first known case of prolonged exposure in a homeless shelter in Minnesota, and I naively realized there was no cavalry coming to help screen and notify guests, I called Dawn Petroskas, at Healthcare for the Homeless, who had one thermometer toContinue reading “An intimate gesture in a time of Coronavirus: a nervous and touching moment in the homeless shelter”

For body and soul: distilleries turning spirits to sanitizers for homeless shelters

With all reverence to this being Holy Thursday and yet recognizing the practical in a time of a pandemic, thank you All Hands for turning spirits into sanitizer for the body as a modern take during Easter Week on turning water into wine for the soul. Both are examples of reading the crowd and givingContinue reading “For body and soul: distilleries turning spirits to sanitizers for homeless shelters”

The helpers we don’t see – working at the homeless shelter

The first helper pictured (below) served our country; now he serves it again in the basement of a church in the middle of the night. The third helper became a physician in his place of birth and now serves his new homeland the same as the first helper, while he studies his chosen practice ofContinue reading “The helpers we don’t see – working at the homeless shelter”

Now we protect them: moving most vulnerable COVID-19 to ad hoc shelter space

“It’s better than Camp Pendleton”, Tim stated as he walked into the comfort and isolation of a suburban hotel with his friend Dan and Dan’s best friend. Homeless shelter operators in Hennepin County have spent the past few days moving our community’s elders into hotel space for isolation. They are the most vulnerable, as weContinue reading “Now we protect them: moving most vulnerable COVID-19 to ad hoc shelter space”

Staying awake to death

“I feel safe here”, perhaps the greatest compliment to any shelter provider. Where do you feel safe closing your eyes and falling asleep? After one week of operating the largest project in Governor Walz and Lt. Governor Flanagan’s Minnesota Winter Homeless Initiative, the two churches who opened their doors, Elim Church, and their next doorContinue reading “Staying awake to death”

The gift of time at Elim Church and Strong Tower Parish Shelters

Gift givers It would have been easy for Ken McCraley and his team from KMS, a black and locally owned small business, to tell me that he didn’t have the capacity to load or unload dozens of mats donated from Abbott Northwestern Hospital or that he only had manpower but no way to deliver. Instead,Continue reading “The gift of time at Elim Church and Strong Tower Parish Shelters”