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Friends In Deed Makes It Official; Bad Weather Shelter Pivots for a Second Year

Published on Monday, November 15, 2021 | 5:00 am

In a statement late last week, Friends in Deed Executive Director Rabbi Joshua Levin Grater confirmed that Friends In Deed has shifted from its Bad Weather Shelter for a second year in a row due to COVID-19 and ongoing social distancing protocols.

Instead, the local charity will be holding regular and weather-activated supply distribution nights along providing with a limited number of motel rooms for those experiencing homelessness in the Pasadena area. This program will start in early January and run through late March.

Pasadena Now first announced the continued closure of the shelter earlier this month.

“We are pleased to continue offering creative solutions during the pandemic for those experiencing homelessness,” Grater said.  “All of our programs have been able to shift to make accommodations for almost two years now. Incredible thanks goes out to our local congregations and the City of Pasadena for working with us to provide for the vulnerable members of our community, as well as our wonderful board, staff, and volunteers.”

Beginning in January, clients can visit First United Methodist Church 500 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena on Thursdays and weather-activated nights from 5 to 7 p.m.

Clients will have the opportunity to receive supplies, including ponchos, blankets, food, and more. Additionally on Thursdays, Azusa Pacific University nursing program students will be on-hand to provide health outreach and skin care.

On any day of the week when the weather is forecast to be colder than 40 degrees or more than 40% chance of rain, Friends In Deed will also have a limited number of motel room one-night stays to offer the most vulnerable members of the community, including the elderly, women, immuno-compromised, and those with mobility issues.

Every day, members of the community can call 888-915-8111 for automated information and to find out whether this program is activated for the night.

“We are working on ways to involve volunteers for this year’s program,” says Lindsey Reed, Assistant Director of Bad Weather Shelter, who is running this year’s supply distribution. “For now, volunteers can help collect cold weather supply donations for our distribution! That would be very helpful.”

Friends In Deed began offering the Bad Weather Shelter in 1988 after a man experiencing homelessness died from sleeping outside on a bus bench during freezing weather. The nonprofit stepped forward to offer a reprieve from inclement weather for the unhoused members of the local community. For over 30 years, the shelter was held at Pasadena Covenant Church on Lake Avenue, but when the pandemic hit, Friends In Deed had to pivot to accommodate local precautions like social distancing.

For the first three months of the year, Friends In Deed partnered with Pasadena Presbyterian Church on Colorado Boulevard every Thursday and Sunday to offer a hot meal, supplies like clothing and sleeping bags, and care administered by local nursing students in an outdoor area.

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