As temperatures drop, the need for a warm place to stay for the homeless rises. Safe Haven Outreach Ministry out of Parsons, KS sleeps 10 guests at night, and they are currently at capacity. Not to mention the waiting list to get in.
"Our biggest need right now is financial support. We always have people that donate, you know, toilet paper, paper towels, clothing, that kind of thing, and we so appreciate that, but right now, we're just having trouble making ends meet, and making sure that we're going to be here next month," founder and director Melissa Brown said.
According to Brown, Safe Haven is a place to get you 'from Point A to Point B in your life'. The shelter helps guests get the necessary things in order to get a job and move into a new place. They assist with getting social security cards and different identifications needed to apply for low-income housing.
"People that come in off the streets or the trains or whatever, they don't want to stay here permanently, they just need a place to rest their head for the night. So we offer them a hot meal, fresh, clean clothes to put on, a hot shower, and a warm place to sleep for the night," Brown said.
Every person in the house has a responsibility, which includes answering the phone.
"It's awful cold out, is the main thing, we get calls everyday from people needing a place to stay, and it's really hard having to be the one that answers the phone and says 'I'm sorry we don't have anything'. It blows me away for such a small town how many people call everyday needing somewhere to stay," house guest Jason Quick said.
Safe Haven operates on a $55,000/year budget and does not receive government funding as it is a faith-based organization. They've began a "homes for the homeless" donation system. Little paper houses can be purchased at many Parsons businesses for a minimum $1 donation. With a donation, donors can write their names on the house and have them on display at local businesses, including Bowen Pharmacy, Hickory Hole restaurant, Family Video, The Mustard Seed and Timber Creek Meats.
"There's no amount that's too small. I hope people don't think that just because they have $10-$15 that it doesn't make a difference. Everything helps," Brown said.
More information can be found on their website http://www.safehavenoutreach.com/ or by calling 620-421-4417.
KOAM - Licensed to Pittsburg, Kansas