By Guest Bloggers Katie Bryant and Kristen Machado
City With Dwellings, a local non-profit organization focused on eradicating homelessness in Winston-Salem, is once again opening overflow shelters. These shelters provide radical hospitality to the most vulnerable in our community, and we need your help! This will be the 9th year that City With Dwellings has opened overflow homeless shelters to help those in greatest need. Local moms have always been an important part of our volunteer effort.
Over the years, moms found that a night volunteering at the shelter gave them a respite from the responsibilities at home. It also provides a break from the kids every so often. We have had some moms who volunteered once a week, and some once a month. We also have many who served as site coordinators (lead volunteer once every other week).
As mothers ourselves, we know that moms have innate strengths—superpowers, if you will—that transfer easily to the shelter. You know how to think on your feet, tell people what to do, and maintain boundaries. But most importantly, you know how to love through it all. We have found that a night at the shelter sometimes helps us get over ourselves, feel like we’re actually doing something productive (when mommy-ing can feel less than some days). As a result, we can even be more present for my family. A night at the shelter also shows our kids that their nighttime routines can happen without us and allows our partners to be fully engaged.
We need moms to serve the most vulnerable in our community at both the men’s shelter at Augsburg Lutheran Church (downtown at 845 W 5th St) and the women’s shelter at St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church (in Ardmore at 2575 Parkway Dr). We need mom energy in our shelter! Both shelters will open on December 15 and close on March 31. The time commitment is at most 6-9pm (if you volunteer with check-in) and 6-8ish if you provide dinner (but you have to cook ahead of time for this role). Children (who are not allowed in the shelter when guests are present) can help parents make dinner at home or put together to-go bags for drop off.
How to Volunteer
If you haven’t served with us before and have questions, please reach out! We are happy to walk with you and will make sure you have everything you need to have a good night away from home helping give the most vulnerable in our community a safe, warm night.
Sign up for Augsburg Men’s Overflow Homeless Shelter:
Sign up for St. Timothy’s Women’s Overflow Homeless Shelter: