We’re barely two weeks into 2016, and already we’ve had more than our share of busy days. After a short break for Christmas and New Year, we were open and our programming was in full swing on Monday, January 4.
We’ve had a steady stream of guests in the mornings. Many have stopped in to say hello and pick up a food order from the food pantry. They are our neighbors living on limited incomes, so a few more days’ worth of food is helpful for them. To receive food, they must obtain a referral that certifies that it has been at least 30 days since their last food order. Patchwork isn’t officially a referral agency, but our office staff will write referrals if they aren’t too busy. This Tuesday we issued referrals for 13 households and checked the eligibility of 4-5 more. It made for a busy morning, but was a small way to accommodate the needs of our guests.
Meanwhile, a group of homeless men drinks coffee, visits with one another, warms up from the cold, and takes showers. One man asks me if I can decipher a phone number on a piece of paper. The paper has gotten wet and dried, so the numbers are smudged and bleeding through. I can’t make sense of it, either. He’s living with his dog in a tent, and it turns out that the number is for a case worker at Aurora who is helping him find housing. With this new information, Shawn is happy to call on our friends at Aurora to get him in touch with his case worker.
It’s not officially a Health Ministry day, but two people ask Nurse John to check their blood pressures and one needs to have a wound on his forehead cleaned and re-dressed. Then Nurse John leaves to take someone to an appointment with a specialist.
In the afternoon, we switch gears as children fill the building. The tutoring carrels fill with students and their tutors. And our main room fills with the sound of children playing games, eating snacks, reading books during Book Club, and making art.
The children’s artwork will be featured at our annual Soup, Salad, & Style fundraiser at noon on Thursday, February 25. Reserve your place at the luncheon today! Tickets cost $45 per person and can be reserved by sending payment to us at Patchwork. Last year we sold out, so make your reservation early!