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 3529 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. A.G.E.D. acts as the fiscal agent for the Winter Shelter Network. The day-to-day operation of the program, as well as care management for our shelter guests, is administered by our Care Coordinator, Merari Stacy, LCSW. 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.