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 five seasons, WSN provided 9887 bednights to our guests.
The Winter Shelter Network is a group of churches in Douglas County that are partnering together to help residents experiencing homelessness. The Network is led by the WSN Council, made up of representatives from partner churches and community agencies. The Council meets regularly to design and implement the program. St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church acts as the fiscal agent for the Winter Shelter Network. The program is administered by Erin White who has helped facilitate network operations since WSN was established. Holly Brazell oversees the daily operations of WSN in her role as coordinator. Holly was a WSN volunteer for many years and is a perfect fit in the role of coordinator.