Here is a statement from Rev. Kevin Stewart of the Hospitality Center, recently it was announced that the Continuum of Care was out of funds for hotel vouchers for those that were homeless. There was monies raised last year to help keep the Hospitality Center open through winter and to possibly build a shelter. The Hospitality Center has donated over $38,000 to the Continuum of Care to help those that need shelter in Racine.
“The Hospitality Center is passionately committed to and will purposefully seek to be part of a community solution; a permanent shelter solution for all who are in need in Racine. Until then —-
The Hospitality Center provided food, safety and overnight shelter for the past three winter seasons for our sisters and brothers who called the streets “home.” Unfortunately, the Hospitality Center is unable to again provide overnight shelter for many reasons. The Hospitality Center will continue to serve as a daytime “drop-in” center and will also continue to administer Racine’s largest meal program.
When the Hospitality Center announced on January 4 of this year that serving as an emergency overnight shelter was beyond the Hospitality Center’s capacity, the Racine community and beyond responded swiftly, generously and overwhelmingly. Persons interested in volunteering called; donations of food, clothing, and bedding arrived; and financial contributions were received. A few days later, the Hospitality Center was pleased to announce that it would be able to continue operating the overnight shelter for the remainder of the winter season.
All funds received earlier this year were restricted and were used by the Hospitality Center for shelter needs. Unused funds were set aside at the end of the winter season in a restricted shelter provision account.
As made known on October 19, a few days ago, we learned that a motel voucher fund program ran out of money. The voucher program, administered under the Continuum of Care umbrella, was established to offer the growing number of our sisters and brothers in need of shelter with motel vouchers. Demand exceeded capacity. The voucher program’s financial resources were exhausted before the first frost and people were out on the streets.
The Hospitality Center has been in dialogue with Gai Lorenzen, Continuum of Care President, since learning about this pressing and life-threatening situation. I am pleased to share that the Hospitality Center will be releasing $38,879.17 (balance of the restricted shelter funds) to the Continuum of Care for the continuation of providing an immediate solution for our sisters and brothers in need.
We are indebted to the generous people of Racine and beyond who responded swiftly, generously and overwhelmingly in January of this year. That response – your response – allowed the Hospitality Center overnight shelter to remain open last winter and allows the Continuum of Care to continue to open doors of safety and shelter for our sisters and brothers in need now.
The Hospitality Center is passionately committed to and will purposefully seek to be part of a community solution; a permanent shelter solution for all who are in need in Racine.
On behalf of all of the Hospitality Center, thank you Gai and thank you Continuum of Care. And thank you to each of you who made overnight shelter at the Hospitality Center possible in the past and assistance available through the Continuum of Care in the present. :
The Rev. Kevin Stewart
The Hospitality Center