In early 2015, a number of local churches met to discuss growing needs in our community. One, often hidden, issue that was presented was homelessness. Specifically , the group focused on the growing number of families that were experiencing homelessness. Approximately 69% of those families were led by single mothers. It was determined that Douglas County "lacks a coordinated system of care for residents experiencing homelessness; especially during the winter months." A group of churches began looking at solutions to the issue of homelessness. Along with the partnership with county agencies, the Winter Shelter Network (WSN) was formed. The goal of the WSN is to serve "the homeless of Douglas County by providing a temporary, safe shelter to receive REST, MEALS, and CONNECTION during the winter months."
In the first three seasons, WSN provided 3520 bednights to our guests.
The Winter Shelter Network is a group of churches in Douglas County who are partnering together to help residents who are experiencing homelessness. The WSN is led by a Council made up of representatives from partner churches and community agencies. The Council meets regularly to design and implement the program. SECOR acts as the fiscal agent for the Winter Shelter Network. The day-to-day organization of the program is conducted by a part-time Administrator, Kelli Perardi. Kelli has served as a volunteer coordinator with several non-profits during her professional career. She has been a part of WSN since its inception by serving as the evening host at one of the overnight host churches. WSN is able to offer case management to the guests through the Care Coordinator, Merari Stacy, MSW. Merari's experience as a coach with Manna Connect as well as her training as a child and family therapist bring a high level of expertise to her position.