The Dorothy Day Center’s overflow shelter, located in a former Catholic Charities office building next door to the main Dorothy Day site in St. Paul, is in need of volunteers to help keep it open.
The overflow shelter allows up to 50 men to have a place to sleep during the last two weeks of each month from October to April.
A group of 60 male volunteers from 12 parishes across the archdiocese are helping to keep the shelter open, but more are needed. It is anticipated that the shelter will be open about 120 nights or more this winter, according to Gerry Lauer, a senior program manager for the Dorothy Day Center.
Two volunteers and one staff person stay in the shelter each night. They organize and admit clients sent from the main site, provide a snack and socialize until lights out at 10 p.m.
Volunteer coordinator Steve Hawkins said the experience has changed those who have volunteered. “Virtually without exception, each volunteer has headed to their first night apprehensive,”?he said. “That lasts about 15 minutes and, without exception, every volunteer returns again and again because of the unbelievable experience meeting face-to-face those in greatest need in our midst while coming away having gained so much more than they gave.”
Men interested in volunteering should contact Hawkins by email at email@example.com.