GUEST enters fifth season of providing shelter

Quinton Sheppard - Posted on Nov 15, 2017 - 01:56 PM

Photo: The board of directors of Gloucester’s United Emergency Shelter Team program is gearing up for its fifth season of housing the county’s homeless population during the cold weather months. GUEST board members are, front row from left, Fran Musick, chairman Kristie Askew, Tracy Williams, Judy Burner, Amanda Adams; back row, vice chairman Jay Fox, Harry Leonard, Al Burner and, not pictured, Ted Fisher, George Miller, Dr. Sara West, Pauline Littell, Mona Hogge and Joyce Blevins. Photo by Quinton Sheppard

The board of directors of Gloucester’s United Emergency Shelter Team program is gearing up for its fifth season of housing the county’s homeless population during the cold weather months. GUEST board members are, front row from left, Fran Musick, chairman Kristie Askew, Tracy Williams, Judy Burner, Amanda Adams; back row, vice chairman Jay Fox, Harry Leonard, Al Burner and, not pictured, Ted Fisher, George Miller, Dr. Sara West, Pauline Littell, Mona Hogge and Joyce Blevins. Photo by Quinton Sheppard

 

Gloucester’s United Emergency Shelter Team is entering its fifth season of housing those in need during the cold weather months. Doors will open at the program’s day shelter next to the Gloucester Moose Lodge at 7 a.m. Dec. 4 and the program will continue through March 26, 2018.

According to Kristie Askew, chairperson of the program’s board of directors, GUEST will provide 24-hour winter shelter for the homeless through the day shelter and its night shelter, which will be housed at various locations throughout the county on a rotating basis.

“The day shelter is a place to wash laundry, take showers, store personal belongings, and work with staff and volunteers to locate resources to become self-sufficient,” Askew said.

Photo: Gloucester High School senior Jade Jenkins, left, presented an $800 check to Kristie Askew, chairperson of the Gloucester United Emergency Shelter Team program’s board of directors, on Tuesday, from fundraising efforts she did as part of her senior project. Jenkins, along with Good Life Kitchen in Gloucester, hosted several spaghetti dinner fundraisers to help the program. Photo by Quinton Sheppard

Gloucester High School senior Jade Jenkins, left, presented an $800 check to Kristie Askew, chairperson of the Gloucester United Emergency Shelter Team program’s board of directors, on Tuesday, from fundraising efforts she did as part of her senior project. Jenkins, along with Good Life Kitchen in Gloucester, hosted several spaghetti dinner fundraisers to help the program. Photo by Quinton Sheppard

 

She is especially excited about a grant the program received for this season through Bay Aging called the Community Action Program. It will assist families eligible for the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program that become a part of GUEST. Funds will be used to transition families out of the shelter by providing a deposit and first month’s rent to help stabilize the family into permanent housing. “It’s a tremendous gift to have available this year,” Askew added.

Night shelters this year will rotate on a weekly basis among a number of local churches and one community organization—Abingdon Episcopal, Bethany United Methodist, Gloucester Point Baptist, Grace Covenant Presbyterian, Newington Baptist, Olive Branch United Methodist, Providence Baptist, Susanna Wesley United Methodist and the Gloucester Moose Lodge.

“We are grateful to community organizations that assist GUEST with services throughout the season, such as Bay Transit, Village Cleaners, the Gloucester Sheriff’s Office and the Gloucester Moose Lodge,” Askew said.