The Jacksonville TEOSA continues to see slow but steady success as it closes in on the halfway point of the winter warming season.
Jacksonville Police Department Chaplain, Allen Braddish says things have been going very well at the Temporary Emergency Overnight Shelter Accommodations in Jacksonville.
Last week Braddish announced the TEOSA reached one of the long-term goals organizers set for the shelter, as three individuals who regularly stayed at the shelter overnight have found their own places to live.
Braddish says another overnight guest of the TEOSA is on their way to attaining the same goal.
“We have an individual that’s been working really hard at getting an apartment. They met with program providers yesterday, and one of the things the individual is doing in the interim is volunteering here in the community. They have proved to be quite an asset to the agency they are volunteering their time and energy with.
It’s just been really beautiful to watch that cooperative exchange between that agency and our overnight guest just blossom and bloom.”
Braddish says he sees that potential in other guests of the TEOSA, and area agencies who have a need for on-site volunteer help should contact him for more information. He says ideally those agencies would be interested in helping the individuals along through encouragement, coaching, and serving as a model.
Braddish says he will be hosting one final training of the season for TEOSA volunteers as the warming shelter could still use a little more help. The training will be held next Saturday, January 30th from 9:00 to 11:00 am at the TEOSA located at 948 North Main Street in Jacksonville.
Braddish says there is still a need for people to go during the day at certain times during the week when the weather is too cold to be outdoors.
“We are still needing activities and venues for the weekend. The Salvation Army stepped up to the plate and opened up their facility as a daytime warming center during the week. But we are still needing weekend venues and options from 8 am to 4 pm.
So if there are churches or groups or businesses that want to open up their facility and invite our overnight guests, then we would really encourage them to reach out to us. Hopefully, that can be a win win deal for both them and the community.”
Braddish says a provider for meals on Friday and Saturday is still a need guests of the TEOSA have as well.
He says the TEOSA itself does have a couple of needs fulfilled to help make things a little easier through the rest of the warming season.
“People keep asking what we need. Right now we are needing some clothes hangers. We just got some poll bars to hang some coats on so our overnight guests can see the selection of coats we have available. We could also use some free-standing shelves so we can better organize the clothes and donated items so they can find what they need without having to go through a pile.
And then if anyone has an extra dresser, we still need one for our family room. So that people who need to be there over a period of time can organize their things a little bit better, and maybe set them up for success when they get a place of their own.”
To find out more about the TEOSA, register for the training class, or interest in contributing, contact Alan Braddish at 217-719-9358 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.