Jim Lohuis

My involvement with Gettysburg CARES (Combined Area Resources for Emergency Shelter) has greatly increased my understanding of the homeless and homelessness. Although our shelter is closed during the summer, the homeless are still here and can use our help. The board of CARES is preparing for the upcoming shelter season. We continue to look for ways to provide additional services to our guests to help them through this difficult period in their lives. Starting Oct. 14 and continuing through April 26, 2020, with the cooperation of 14 area churches, we will provide a warm and secure place for our homeless guests to sleep. During the day they can utilize the Resource Center on York Street to shower, do laundry and search for jobs and more permanent housing. Our paid staff assists the guests in looking for housing, jobs or other services and benefits that are available to them. There is also a biweekly medical clinic supported by Wellspan Health and we hope to add other professionals to discuss dental hygiene, veterans’ benefits and housing opportunities.

None of this would be possible without the support of the community. We have dedicated volunteers to serve as hosts at the participating churches, to transport guests to the host church, to spend the night with the guests, and to prepare breakfast for the guests. We greatly appreciate the generosity of the many individuals, civic groups and businesses, churches and local foundation/funds that support CARES financially and with in-kind donations.

When we celebrate our seventh birthday at 5:30 p.m., Sept, 5 at the Kellett Farm, 72 Gordon Road, Fairfield, we will be honoring our breakfast volunteers, the Soup Kitchen Board and Director for their on-going support. This is a great time to look at the opportunities to assist our homeless neighbors, as volunteers and/or donors. Please RSVP via email to info@gettysburgcares.org if you’d like to attend the birthday party, or if you want to know more about volunteer opportunities. You can also mail donations to Gettysburg CARES, PO Box 3814, Gettysburg, PA 17325.

Although the temperature is high, it won’t be long until the air gets cooler and the days get shorter. Please think of Gettysburg CARES and how you can help the homeless through your donations and volunteer time.

Jim Lohuis is a member of the Gettysburg CARES Board of Directors.

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