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Volunteers needed for White Flag shelter

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#1 kelley


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Posted 22 February 2017 - 11:51 AM

I apologize for not bringing this here sooner as so much of what got this community to the point of having a White Flag shelter started here on Chatter. The issues the site has been having has just made it less ideal for communication and organization.
This post was just made by the Homeless Coalition:

"Hey folks! It's looking like this weekend is going to be a cold one! We are in need of volunteers for the emergency White Flag shelter for Saturday - men especially. If you would like to volunteer, please contact Dawn at (502) 445-0042. Please like and share this post to spread the word!"


The Homeless Coalition became official in late 2015. One of the primary first goals was to get a White Flag system up and running. At traditional shelters, White Flag generally means they will let people in even if they are over capacity, and they may suspend other rules or allow individuals previously banned back in. It is called in winter when the temperature reaches 35 degrees for more than 5 hours. Haven House operates this way, and, in the past, Exit 0 has opened temporary shelters when the weather was cold, but the criteria was more informal.


The Coalition is using the same criteria as Louisville to avoid confusion as we share the same media market. The S. Indiana White Flag shelter began operating in November. The Salvation Army in New Albany has offered their space. TARC and public safety agencies are providing transportation when needed.


S. Indiana's White Flag system is loosely operating on the model of a system in Chicago. Similar to how Exit 0 provided meals and other services, it is a team system. So far, 5 teams are in place, which means a team is on call for one night every week, and there are two nights we've struggled to fill, hence the post quoted above. The Salvation Army policy requires when services are being provided in their building, there has to be at least one male and one female on staff. Getting enough male volunteers has been a struggle.


The ideal is to have 31 teams so that each team is only responsible for one night per month through the season. The work load will not be even that much as it isn't likely every one of those nights will be below 35 degrees for 5 hours.


The nights the shelter is open are broken in to three volunteer shifts: one that basically gets everyone admitted and settled, a longer overnight shift, and short morning shift getting everyone out the door and the space cleaned. Even though the aren't many teams and this is a new venture, the individual commitment still doesn't have to be more than a few hours a week, less than that if a team is big enough to have alternates and/or the weather in mild. As the team structure grows, each volunteer's needed commitment will decrease.


If you are interested in volunteering, or, even better, have in mind a team, please get in touch with Dawn Klemm, the executive director of the Homeless Coalition of Southern Indiana at 502-445-0042.


Please spread the word!


Edited by kelley, 22 February 2017 - 11:53 AM.

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