PACEM to Open Doors for 11th Season
October 24, 2014
PACEM, or People and Congregations Engaged in Ministry, are getting ready to open their seasonal shelter Saturday night for area homeless.
"We're really excited to open our doors tomorrow to folks who have been, over the past week, really dealing with increasingly colder weather," said PACEM Executive Director Dawn Grzegorcyk.
Every night from late October to March, PACEM sets up cots and serves warm meals at two of its more than 70 volunteer congregations, from churches to community groups. One shelter houses women, another houses men.
The organization says having a place where guests can feel safe and warm is key, and that they've heard the demand recently.
"I've had several individuals approach me during the past week or two saying, 'okay, when is it that you're opening, because it's getting really cold out here and we really need a place to stay,'" said Grzegorcyk.
Finding shelter in the winter months can be especially hard for someone who is homeless, and as the temperatures drop, folks PACEM says the number of people needing a place to stay each night increases.
"It's hard. You see people walking down the street with, you know, all their belongings, and their bed roll and their bag, and they're looking for a safe place to go, and they're really isn't one without trespassing, without putting themselves at risk," said Grzegorcyk. "When you're homeless, it's almost criminal behavior to find a place to sleep, and so, it's really important that they find a place that's been sanctioned. This is a legal option."
This is PACEM's 11th season. Last year, the network provided shelter to 218 guests.
If you are interested in helping PACEM, visit their websiteto learn how.
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