Foreward Together

Help The Well Shelter Vulnerable Women

Posted by: on November 7, 2016

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The Well offers women living on the street a unique option — a small group setting where the women find rest, comfort, and community during the coldest parts of the winter. Last winter’s three-month pilot was a success and this year the shelter plans to be open for six months, from November through April.

You can help The Well provide a home for the women by volunteering, helping to supply the shelter, or offering financial support (see the list below).

The Well is a partnership between The Welcome Church (a worshipping community of our synod ministering with people without houses in Center City), Trinity Memorial Church, The Presbytery of Philadelphia and Presbyterian Church (USA), with additional funding from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America , the Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod of the ELCA, and the Episcopal Diocese of Philadelphia, along with many other individuals and congregations.

The Well microshelter offers women a sense of community, which is not available in traditional shelters. In addition to a place to sleep, each woman was offered a locker (with lock) so that they did not have to carry all their belongings with them during the day. Dinner was provided – sometimes donated, often cooked by the women– as well as items for breakfast and baggies to take leftovers for lunch.

The Well’s attendance rate was high, in part due to the ongoing participation and follow up the women had during the week with The Welcome Church and its various activities. This was remarkable since the project focused on the most vulnerable and shelter-resistant women. The hand-picked staff walking with the women of The Well was also a major factor of its success.

Last year’s location, the Church of the Crucifixion, is under repair, and until it is ready The Well is negotiating for another location. The facility will open later in November.

Items needed to open and supply The Well:

  • 4 cots (about $110 each)
  • 12 pillows
  • 8 sets of twin size sheets
  • 14 pillow cases (total)
  • 3 footlocker type bins (CONTICO 23-Gallon Black Plastic Storage Trunk Item #: 649196 |  Model #: 1314BK-4 ~$25.00 each)
  • 12 locks for the bins
  • 4 medium size storage bins (23 gal.)
  • Yarn/ knitting needles and crochet hooks
  • Coloring books and coloring implements
  • Fuzzy, warm socks to double as slippers
  • underwear, socks, bras (one-size type in small, medium, large)
  • 12 Bath towels
  • Liquid hand soap
  • Shampoo
  • Foot care supplies
  • Dish liquid
  • Dishwashing cloths or sponges
  • Dish towels
  • Paper towels
  • Baggies (all sizes) for food storage
  • Small plastic containers for food storage
  • Boxes of Cereal for breakfast
  • Cereal bars
  • Instant oatmeal
  • Individual mac&cheese

Volunteers are welcome for any of the following jobs and activities:

  • Help to set up the space for The Well
  • Make a meal for 12 and drop it off at The Well at 7:30 pm one evening (scheduling info below).  OR You may also bring the ingredients and stay to cook and enjoy the meal.
  • Shop for basics, such as orange juice, milk, coffee.
  • Share your skills or interests and lead a group, either once or once per week:  Yoga?  Crafts?  Crochet or knitting?  Other?

Financial contributions welcome:

  • Money always welcome for supplies such as coffee, milk, orange juice, cocoa, breakfast supplies, laundry, feminine supplies, and ongoing needs as they arise.

Contacts for more information:

To sign up to bring/cook a meal one night, please contact volunteer meal coordinator Fran Olivia

Donations of items on the list other than meals, please contact Sharon Dooley:

Donations of items can be dropped off at Trinity Memorial Church, 2212 Spruce (corner of 22nd & Spruce), Monday-Friday, 9am-2pm. To ask questions about the drop-off of donations at TMC, please contact Rev. Donna Maree, Rector,

For more information or offers please contact:

The Rev. Schaunel Steinagel

Pastor Violet Little

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