Beds Plus Letter

July 2, 2017

Dear Friends at Holy Covenant MCC!

Holy Covenant has been presented with an opportunity to expand the way we serve the western suburbs and Brookfield through BEDS Plus by becoming the Tuesday night emergency shelter site for the Brookfield area beginning October 1, 2017.

As many of you know, Holy Covenant and members have worked with BEDS Plus for many years—volunteering in the shelters, preparing and serving meals. Now we would be serving in a more direct way as a shelter ourselves.

On Tuesdays, the fellowship hall would become the dining hall—a meal prepared elsewhere would be brought in and served to about 15-20 male clients. A paid BEDS staff member would open the shelter for the evening and check in guests. Guests are required to sign a behavioral contract before they come to the building (all guests are required to register with BEDS Plus) and violation of that contract means expulsion from the BEDS program. The upstairs area would become the sleeping area—chairs and other furniture would be stacked and moved to make space for the sleeping mats. BEDS volunteers would remain in the building and ensure the safety of the clients and the building space at all times. In the morning, clients would be served breakfast before departing for the day. BEDS volunteers would then restore the building arrangement (chairs, tables, etc.) and clean up (bathrooms, kitchen, upstairs, downstairs) before departing.

The program supplies (mats, paper products, cleaning supplies, linens, etc.) would need some space in the garage, and there is plenty of room for this.

There are, of course, concerns, but they are with Holy Covenant, not so much with BEDS. We do not have a functional boiler right now; without one, we cannot host BEDS. We will be launching a GoFundMe account very soon to finance that, but we don’t know when we have that installed. Last winter, we had difficulty getting commitments for snow shoveling—that will be an absolute requirement if we are hosting BEDS. We are checking on some other questions we have, such as street parking for volunteers and clients and permitting for overnight accommodations.

This is an exciting opportunity for Holy Covenant to live out that part of our mission statement that speaks of community action and social justice. No decision has been made; we wanted you to know that this was a possibility in the works.

Tina Rounds from BEDS Plus will be present on Sunday, July 16 for a congregational forum after church to respond to any concerns or questions you may have, or you may contact Laura Cleveland or Rev. Martha.

Laura Cleveland

Facilitator, Social Action Ministries

Rev. Martha Daniels