Hello Stepping Stones friends and relatives,
We are gearing up for the winter, attempting to do a few things to make sure that our Lummi homeless are out of the cold elements. According to the Bellingham Herald, the Whatcom County area is supposed to be “Brisk, Drier than Normal”.
Although the weather experts are saying this, they are also predicting it to be extremely cold at times, which is what happened last year. The overnight temps dipped to below 20-degrees and we were forced to break into an abandoned home next to the I-5 freeway (LIBC owned home) and we allowed many of our tribal homeless inside to warm them up.
We learned quite a bit about what to do and (not to do) and so with optimism, we are wanting to open another warming shelter this December.
We need your help. Here’s how you can help us this winter:
- We will be making a pot of chili and bringing it out to the homeless camps to not only do a headcount of how many of our homeless have yet to come through our shelter doors, but to see what the actual need could be this winter. This normally requires at least four hours of time on a Saturday or Sunday, depending on what the group feels what time they can donate.
- Donations of blankets, ear muffs, socks, gloves; anything that you would take with you up to the mountains. Although we will be opening our warming shelter, there will be some folks who won’t want to come in from the elements. So, if we had something to give them while they are outside, that would be fantastic. Donations can be left at any of our shelters (1301 Kope Road or 2500 Shorewood Lane).
- Financial donations: Have money but no time? Donating just $5 could help us in providing warm food and shelter for one homeless person for one day.
What’s a warming shelter?
A warming shelter is different than a residential shelter because the amount of time each person can stay in the warming shelter is very limited. The goal is to get people out of the frigid weather which normally is between the hours of 6PM and 7AM (just before the sun comes up).
Those who will be spending the nights in the warming shelter do not have to be drug and alcohol free nor do they have to be engaged with CARE, Lummi Behavioral Health or Lummi Employment Training Center. They just cannot drink or drug while inside or near the warming shelter.
We will have food available and lots of warmth (temperature and personal care). We are looking for a place to be able to have running water for them to take a shower or wash their clothes, but that is on the wish list.
We hope you can be apart of this great work!
Fundraiser to Help Homeless
We’re excited to announce our next big event, happening at the Beach Store Cafe on Lummi Island. Tess Winds-Johnson and the great people there have graciously opened their doors
and their services to help us raise money for Whatcom County homeless.
We are partnering with Homes Now, Not Later (again) and offering a night of food, fun, fellowship and live auction to raise as much money and friends as we can.
The date is Thursday, October 26th at 6PM. Please email Tess at TessBscLummi@gmail.com if you would like to reserve a seat or a table.
The menu for the fundraiser is yet to be created, but we’re sure you’ll enjoy the amazing food and cooking of the Beach Store Cafe team.
In Lummi language, we say ts’ey’et, which means “Raising of hands,” which is signified in our Stepping Stones logo. Raising of hands signifies respect and gratitude as well as the non-tribal meaning of saying yes, I will step up and help out.
Partnerships Make the Work Lighter
We’ve been so blessed with the Lummi community always stepping up for the Stepping Stones. We had over 140 requests for food, time, home items and more and every single time we’ve asked for something, the Lummi community have met us halfway.
Another partner has been the Laurel Community Church in Whatcom County. They have been a partner with us as well offering washer, dryers and more for both of our shelters. They just delivered another washer/dryer set to our Kope home and we’re so blessed to call them friends of the program.
We are setting up a date in October to have five tribes from the Pacific Northwest come and see our homes and micro homes. They want to know our story and how we were able to get this program off the ground.
It truly takes a village to raise our People and to help us turn something out of nothing!
We need more help in terms of people power. If you have an urge to be apart of this sacred work of directly helping our People, please contact Aaron Thomas at firstname.lastname@example.org or call him at 360-303-9979.