Friends in Deed, an interfaith organization that provides supportive services for Pasadena’s homeless and at-risk neighbors, has been operating its Bad Weather Center since Thursday, January 4 and it will be open throughout the winter season—whenever there is a forecast temperature of 40 degrees or colder, or there is a 40 percent or more chance of rain.
Tim Nistler, Program Director of the Friends in Deed Food Pantry, said 35 homeless individuals stayed at the Bad Weather Shelter this past Sunday night, with a varying number at the shelter overnight Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.
“The Shelter can accommodate up to 160 people per night, but it doesn’t usually get that full. Along with a cot, sheets, and a blanket, a hot meal is provided to our homeless community,” Nistler said. “Volunteers are there to help with set up and make the dinner. After the meal is done and cleanup has taken place, the volunteers leave. We have staff that stays throughout the night making sure everything is okay.”
Friends in Deed used to have a family shelter at a different location in Pasadena, but since funding ran out, the Bad Weather Shelter at N. Lake Avenue can only accommodate individuals and not families, says Rabbi Joshua Grater, the organization’s Executive Director.
Grater said their full-time staff, many from Union Station Homeless Services, another Pasadena-based nonprofit helping the homeless, take care of recording individuals availing of their services into a housing database the organization maintains. William Shelby heads the Bad Weather Shelter as Program Director.
Volunteers usually come in about the same time the beneficiaries start coming in, Grater said.
“The volunteers are responsible for turning and setting up the cots and getting the bedding ready, and then bringing in the food and the materials and preparing the dinner,” he said. “It’s a hot dinner.”
The Bad Weather Shelter, located in the gymnasium of the Pasadena Covenant Church at 539 N. Lake Avenue, will continue to operate intermittently until March.
For more information about Friends in Deed and its Bad Weather Shelter, visit www.friendsindeedpas.org/fid/what-we-do/our-programs/bad-weather-shelter/.
For a list of additional shelters in Southern California visit http://friendsindeedpas.org/fid/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/LA-County-2017-2018-winter-shelter-program.pdf