By Nancy Mueller
The Church of the Palms has been an integral part of Interfaith Homeless Emergency Shelter (I-HELP) of the northwest valley since it began in October 2019, usually hosting every Monday night. I-HELP is administered by Lutheran Social Services who interviews, selects, and provides case management for those who have lost safe and stable housing. A host church like ours provides the basics of shelter, meals and transportation for a maximum of 12 guests. COTP provides this and much more — friendly faces who listen with their hearts.
Our volunteers prepare homemade dinners, hot breakfasts, and a hearty lunch bag for every overnight guest. Our monitors, who pass a background check by the State of Arizona, provide a secure shelter for our guests every hour they are on our site in King Hall. Our bus drivers provide transportation to and from COTP. A team of COTP members and others organize and support these key functions and activities. Laurie Cathey has been a strong advocate for the homeless. From Day 1, Laurie coordinated all the meals, prepared the dining area, greeted the guests, helped serve and clean up and filled in the gaps as needed. We are thankful for her 2 years of service. She is ready for a Monday night at home. So, starting in December, Randolph Omahana will begin as meal coordinator.
We thank Mo Goodrick, who has been making lunches for many months. She passes the brown lunch bags to Marcia Hollingsworth for December. We need others for 2022. Randolph welcomes anyone to contact him about providing meals for 10-12 people or helping in the kitchen. Contact Randolph at 847.828.8045 about participating in this unique way, to make a difference in the lives of those we meet though I-HELP.
You may contact Nancy Mueller (608.838.3575) about other related volunteer activities. These include:
- monitors from 10pm-3am or 3am-7am
- laundry once a week
- bus drivers 1 hour at 7:30 am or 4:00 pm.
Perhaps you’d like to visit on a Monday evening to socialize. You will be welcomed to the room where it happens.