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Groups unite to provide cold weather shelter in Marysville
MARYSVILLE — Marysville churches and community groups have come together to prevent those who are out on the streets from freezing to death this winter.
Jason Brower, the service and missions deacon for the Damascus Road Church, received a number of donations from Soroptimist International of Marysville on Saturday, Nov. 23, to help his church serve as the site for Marysville’s new cold weather shelter, but Brower was quick to credit several other area churches with contributing their parishioners as volunteers to staff the cold weather shelter.
“If people want to volunteer, we welcome them to contact their churches about taking part, since we’re trying to get each participating church to provide all the volunteers for a given night of the week,” Brower said. “We still need crews for Tuesday and Wednesday nights. One person couldn’t deal with the numbers of people we’re potentially expecting to take in, so we want at least five to 12 volunteers for each night.”
Brower and Jon Baylor, a fellow member of the Damascus Road Church who’s helping to coordinate the cold weather shelter, were moved by their experiences of working together at the Everett Gospel Mission.
“God did it to break our hearts,” Brower said. “We saw that these folks needed the love of the gospel spoken into their hearts.”
Brower and Baylor connected with Pastor Victor Rodriguez, of the Marysville Free Methodist Church, who informed them of the work that Jim Strickland was already doing through the Marysville Hungry and Homeless Organization, also known as Marysville H2O, to coordinate the resources of churches and community groups on behalf of those in need.
“I know Arlington has a portable cold weather shelter, and the Tulalip reservation has a homeless shelter for its own people, but I don’t know that Marysville has ever had its own shelter,” said Brower, who hopes to move a planned Dec. 6-7 training session for volunteers up to Nov. 29-30. “We’ll be covering how to check people in and address any number of issues through a mock service night. I’m even seeing if I can pull in any mountaineers to talk about cold weather injuries such as exposure, hypothermia or frostbite.”
While Judd & Black had supplied a stove to cook food for those staying in the 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. shelter, Soroptimist International of Marysville came up with hundreds of paper plates and cups, as well as plastic utensils, for them to eat their meals with, in addition to supplying some laundry detergent. Earlier in the year, the Rotary Club of Marysville and the Marysville Community Lunch program had donated 20 mattresses, with 20 accompanying pillows and sets of sheets.
“This fits with our mission of helping women, girls and families,” Marysville Soroptimist Co-President Teresa Trivett said. “We’re also in favor of fostering a stronger sense of community by forging partnerships between fellow nonprofit organizations.”
“I really have to thank Jim Strickland for getting the ball rolling on all of this through H2O,” Rodriguez said. “Jim was instrumental in energizing everyone, and Jason and Jon have really stepped up by being able to host this shelter at Damascus Road. As we were looking at Arlington’s model, we realized that it wasn’t feasible for us to do a portable shelter like this, so by offering their own building as the shelter’s location, they’ve really made it possible.”
Volunteer teams will be on call, and will only be called upon to operate the shelter when the temperature drops below freezing. The Damascus Road Church is located at 1048 State Ave. in Marysville. For more information or to sign up, email Brower at email@example.com or Baylor at firstname.lastname@example.org.