An average of 75 homeless people a night found comfort in the city of Kent’s Severe Weather Shelter during the cold, snowy two-week stretch of February.
The city activated its shelter at Kent Lutheran Church for a record 11 consecutive nights. Catholic Community Services staff and volunteers from Kent Lutheran Church operate the shelter. A total of 94 people stayed at the church on one of the nights.
“I want to personally thank coordinators Linda Stockham and Councilmember Toni Troutner for pulling it all together, as well as those who generously donated their time, food and supplies to care for some of our city’s homeless,” Kent Mayor Dana Ralph said in her weekly newsletter. “This is just one more reason I am proud to live in Kent and to be your mayor.”
Groups who helped support the shelter included Degh Tegh Community Kitchen (a Sikh humanitarian effort), Latter-Day Saints Church Community, Union Gospel Mission, Dick’s Drive-In, Kent Police Department and a woman, her neighbors and LDS church members who washed blankets and pillow cases every day.
Volunteers each night provided hot meals – everything from soup and spaghetti to lasagna and yakisoba, according to the city’s Facebook page. The homeless also received a hot breakfast each morning and a sack lunch to take with them when they left in the morning.
“We can’t thank the community enough for the donations of food, supplies and time,” Stockham and Troutner said in a joint statement. “This shelter is run mostly by volunteers, and we couldn’t do it without all of you.”