Organizers of the Jacksonville TEOSA are thankful for those who helped contribute to the warming shelter’s success as it enters it’s final month of operation.
Jacksonville Police Chaplain Allan Braddish says the Temporary Emergency Overnight Shelter Accommodations or TEOSA will continue operation through March 31st, however there is still need for assistance.
The TEOSA is in need of someone to help provide evening meals on Fridays and Saturdays during the month of March. Braddish says as successful as the shelter has been, there is still a continuing need in the community.
“We are still open. I’m hearing rumors of homeless individuals out there that don’t know that we have a shelter in town that’s available. If anyone knows anybody that is homeless, just send them to the police station for clearance. We’ll give them a good night stay, meal, shower, and clean clothes.”
Braddish says the TEOSA has accomplished much more than simply providing a warm place to stay for the night. He says the shelter has been successful in helping many of Jacksonville’s homeless population to get off of the streets for good.
“We were able to relocate a couple of individuals out of the area to family members homes. We have been able to help establish five who were previously homeless in their own place of residence, now they are technically no longer homeless. That was the second part of our goal.
We’re excited to say they’ve got their own place now. We still have a couple of others who are chronically homeless that we hope to place before the 31st. So we’ve been working that and it is quite the project.”
Braddish says the TEOSA has trained over 90 individuals to serve as onsite volunteers and roughly half of those are still actively involved at the shelter.
He says the success of the TEOSA would not have been possible without a lot of outside help in the community.
“We couldn’t have done it without the support of the city and the community and groups have stepped forward. We have developed some pretty cool partnerships with community help: the Salvation Army, MidWest Youth Services, even the Corners Office, and Police Station. Many hands make the work light, I can’t say enough about the response of this community, they have just been terrific.”
Braddish says Morgan County Coroner Marcy Patterson stepped forward to help with the daily COVID-19 screenings that are required before an individual can be admitted to the TEOSA.
Patterson and the Mid-West Youth Services have a schedule of providing volunteers to do the screenings each day at the Jacksonville Police Department substation from 4 to 5 pm.
Braddish says thanks is also deserving for West Central Mass Transit for providing transportation between the TEOSA and the Salvation Army who has served as a daytime warming shelter.
Anyone interested in volunteering to help provide Friday or Saturday meals or to find out more about the TEOSA can contact Alan Braddish at 217-719-9358 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org