The Emergency Shelter Partnership (ESP) is an interfaith coalition of community and religious organizations working to find short term emergency shelter for those needing protection from the winter elements.
Friday, May 13, 2011
Presentation of $625.00 check to the ESP.
(Right to left: Mel Berger, Samantha Lutt, Paul Alcorn, Jacob Lutt)
During the Shelter’s weeks of operation, men (and occasionally women) seeking shelter assemble each evening at the Mount Kisco Police Station, from which they are transported to the host location. A bi-lingual supervisor accompanies them and stays with them throughout each night. The men are offered a meal and a place to sleep. In the morning, they awaken early, have breakfast, put away their bedding, and are escorted back to Mount Kisco.
The Shelter resides at one host location for a week at a time and each night requires the following: - a space for the men to sleep; - one or two volunteers to stay overnight; - one group or family to prepare, serve and clean up dinner; - provisions for breakfast; - a minimal amount of cleanup.
Other area organizations contribute meals, financial support, or volunteers to spend the night at the Shelter.
What We Need:
The Emergency Shelter Partnership plans to operate this winter for 22 weeks during which the temperatures typically fall below freezing: November 1, 2010 to April 3, 2011. To do this, we must raise a total of $32,000 to meet our budget, which consists primarily of our supervisors’ salaries, sleep equipment and automotive fuel. Once again, we ask individuals and religious and community organizations in the greater Mount Kisco area to help us keep the Emergency Shelter open this winter season.
How to Participate:
Here are some ways you, your organization or your house of worship can participate in Emergency Shelter Partnership:
- Make a financial contribution to help sustain the Emergency Shelter Partnership. One hundred percent of your contribution goes directly to ensure that all our emergency shelter sites have the appropriate supervision and support. The utmost priority of the Emergency Shelter Partnership is to provide a safe and secure haven each night. - Volunteer your time. Cook and serve a meal, or volunteer at the Shelter overnight. There are many ways to be involved. - Open your house of worship to provide emergency shelter to our community’s homeless during the winter.
How to Donate:
No measure of kindness is too small to consider. Your contributions provide homeless people in our community with lifesaving shelter from the harsh winter elements. Your contribution is tax-deductible.* Please make your donations payable to Emergency Shelter Partnership. Mail to: Emergency Shelter Partnership PO Box 427 Mount Kisco, NY 10549
*Currently, Bedford Presbyterian Church provides administrative oversight for the Emergency Shelter Partnership (“ESP”) staff and payroll, without cost to the ESP, as well as tax deductible status for all donations made directly to the ESP.
To find out more about the Emergency Shelter Partnership, or how you or your organization may join the Partnership, please contact Reverend Paul Alcorn at the Bedford Presbyterian Church, (914) 234-3672, or Mel Berger at the Mount Kisco Drug Council, (914) 666-0614.
The Emergency Shelter Partnership is an interfaith coalition of community and religious organizations working to find short term emergency shelter for those needing protection from the winter elements.
A Brief History: In early December 2004, a group of concerned community leaders partnered with the Mount Kisco Drug and Alcohol Abuse Prevention Council, the Northern Westchester Interfaith Clergy Association, and the leadership of the Village of Mount Kisco, to address what it saw as a growing problem of homelessness in Northern Westchester County. Reports of homeless men suffering through severely cold winters and, in some cases, dying from exposure, mobilized the group to develop a program for a winter night emergency shelter. The core of the shelter concept consisted of a handful of churches and synagogues opening their doors to offer a safe place to sleep those in need of shelter.
The emergency shelter began operation on January 24, 2005 at the Bedford Presbyterian Church in Bedford Village, providing shelter for four men. Other local congregations agreed to participate; each providing at least two weeks of emergency shelter over the course of that winter.
Since then, this group effort, called the Emergency Shelter Partnership, has provided emergency shelter for the five coldest months of the year—November through March. More than a dozen religious organizations host the shelter, and many more community groups and individuals lend their support through donations of volunteers, meals, and funds.
This community effort has been a success: since the Emergency Shelter Partnership was established, there have been no reports of deaths from exposure to the winter cold.