Catholic Charities to Open Daytime Shelters
Marion Ahlers, Director of Marketing and Communications
Catholic Charities Diocese of Pittsburgh
Catholic Charities to Open Daytime Shelters As Temperatures Drop
Two locations to be available in partnership with Divine Mercy Parish
Catholic Charities in partnership with Divine Mercy Parish will host a daytime winter shelter program with two locations, beginning December 1, 2020.
The first location will be at the agency’s original location of five years, the Susan Zubik Welcome Center at 212 9th Street downtown Pittsburgh.
The other location will be at the “Red Door” of St. Mary of Mercy Church at the corner of the Boulevard of the Allies and Stanwix Street.
Hours for both locations will be from 7:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. seven days a week. Breakfast, lunch and dinner will be offered.
“We know without these facilities the homeless population in downtown Pittsburgh will not have adequate access to safe daytime shelter out of the elements,” says Susan Rauscher, Executive Director Catholic Charities. “Even with the moderate temperatures this fall, one person has already died downtown due to exposure. We know of another person admitted to an area ICU under similar circumstances who is not expected to survive.”
The daytime warming stations will be compliant with Covid-19 protocols, providing clean, safe shelter and food. Both locations will be disinfected nightly. For admittance to the shelters, guests must be symptom-free and comply with a temperature check. Those who are unwell will be referred to Allegheny County for quarantine.
“The on-going pandemic changes protocol for how we serve those in distress,” says Rauscher. “Our experience, however, means we know how to do it safely and with much-needed compassion. Regardless, we simply won’t ignore such a critical community need. This in an important element in keeping all of us safe and healthy.”
Agency organizers expect to serve between 120 and 150 people each day and are asking for in-kind donations to defray the high costs of cleaning and personal protective equipment to ensure staff and guest safety.
Supplies requested include oatmeal packets, individual sugar and cream servings and breakfast bars. Supporters may also donate clean winter hats, gloves and scarves.
Call Sarah McMurtry, In-Kind Donation Coordinator, at 412-325-6754 to coordinate supply drop-offs.
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About Catholic Charities: Catholic Charities serves all, regardless of religious affiliation, at their times of great need. With offices in Allegheny, Beaver, Butler, Greene, Lawrence and Washington counties, Catholic Charities has been providing programs and services since 1910. Catholic Charities offers counseling, a Free Health Care Center for the uninsured and underinsured, senior centers and services (out of Lawrence County) homeless assistance, pregnancy and parenting support, and more. For more information about our programs and services, visit www.ccpgh.org.