A Shoutout to Amherst Places of Worship

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Our sincere thanks to the houses of worship in the area for their solidarity with the homeless people in our community.

Immanuel Lutheran Church initially agreed to host Craig’s Place, our seasonal shelter for 23 people, each night from November through April. In December, the congregation graciously voted to expand hours of operation to 24 hours a day, every day.

This replaced lightweight cots, which were uncomfortable, with more durable and much more accommodating ones. At the same time, it offered guests a safe place to leave their belongings during the day since they no longer had to carry them conspicuously on their backs.

It is almost impossible to express the gratitude our clients feel for these two worthy and life-saving decisions.

In February, we reopened a shelter formerly housed at the Unitarian Universalist Association of Amherst (UUSA) in their Meetinghouse. This shelter, known as the Willie Eaton House, was named after a longtime UUSA member. It can accommodate 14 women.

The women of Willie Eaton House really appreciate the secure space and have recently started using the dorm for yoga during the day when the beds can be moved out of the way. And we so appreciate the community meals served every Wednesday by members of the UUSA congregation.

Our thanks also to First Baptist Church for continuing to house our resource center and administrative offices, which this week opened a newly renovated ADA-compliant shower. The shower was made possible through funds provided by the City of Amherst.

We are also grateful for the meals served by the Center for Human Development at “Not Bread Alone” in the First Congregational Church.

Special thanks also to the Amherst Survival Center for weekday lunches, laundry facilities, a warm-up center and access to showers while the one at our resource center was under construction.

This year we have not received any reports of frostbite or death from hypothermia in our community. We know the solidarity of religious communities and others who have generously contributed financially, space and services have helped save lives.

In solidarity,

Kevin J. Noonan

Executive Director, Craig’s Place

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