As the twinkling lights of the holiday season illuminate the streets of our community, Nest, we are reminded of the poignant tales that unfold within our walls. In this festive time, when warmth and joy abound, it is crucial to turn our collective gaze toward those silently grappling with the harsh reality of homelessness. Our shelter is not merely a refuge; it is a haven where the complexities of the human spirit are laid bare—a place where the trials of our unhoused neighbors become stories etched into the fabric of our community.

Homelessness doesn’t discriminate based on age, race, or gender. The faces within our shelter are not unfamiliar; they are the faces of our neighbors, community members, and friends. The bitter chill that winter often brings only amplifies the urgency of recognizing and addressing the profound healing journey that takes place within our shelter’s walls.

This journey is multifaceted, marked by the complexities of substance abuse, emotional and psychological burdens, and health issues that stubbornly persist regardless of age or circumstance. According to the National Health Care Center for the Homeless Council, “People who are homeless have higher rates of illness and die on average 12 years sooner than the general U.S. population,” and they go on to state, “simply being without a home is a dangerous health condition.” These statistics are not just arbitrary facts; they represent the lived experiences of those without a place to call home.

Recovery within the realm of homelessness is far from a linear trajectory. It is a winding path strewn with unexpected challenges and setbacks. Yet, setbacks are not signals of defeat but rather milestones in a larger journey toward stability. At our shelter, we understand the significance of managing these setbacks with love, care, dignity, and respect, recognizing that they are integral to the healing process. We understand that when individuals are determined and willing to follow the path to recovery, second chances are sometimes the saving grace in this journey.

Within our shelter, we are more than the sum of our four walls; we are a community committed to fostering positive change. We are a place where our guests build healthy lifestyles and a support network with each other and in our community to remain successful in their journey home. The healing journey extends beyond the physical, delving into our guests’ emotional and psychological well-being. Our team of dedicated counselors, working in collaboration with local organizations and churches, forms a united front, providing holistic support to those in need.

The statistics on the homeless community’s health underscore our mission’s urgency. According to The Health Center Patient Survey from 2009 from The National Health Care Center for the Homeless Council, the illustration below demonstrates how being unhoused is a significant setback regarding health. While this graphic may be older, the homeless population continues to rise, so we know that we are seeing larger numbers in the greater homeless population as a whole in 2023.


These numbers reflect the urgent need for compassion and intervention. As the holiday season encourages a spirit of giving, we earnestly appeal to your generosity. Your donations can be the beacon of hope that lights the way for those navigating the shadows of homelessness, leading them toward the warmth and security of a home. In this season of love and compassion, let us unite to make a meaningful difference in the lives of those yearning for a chance at recovery and a home of their own.