What We’re Doing, and How You Can Help
Update: St. Stephen's main office re-opened at 8:30am on Thursday, 1/31 to resume serving all clients.
Due to the extreme temperatures predicted for the next two days, St. Stephen’s Human Services main office will be closed Tuesday, January 29 and Wednesday, January 30. Our Emergency Services (Shelters and Street Outreach) will continue to operate in a crisis response mode.
We are doing all that we can to ensure the safety and well-being of our clients and shelter guests.
Our shelters normally open each evening and close each morning. To ensure that our guests do not have to venture out in the cold during the day, both of our shelters are operating around the clock. Our Clinton Avenue Shelter will remain open until 9AM on Friday, and our First Covenant Church Shelter will remain open until 9AM on Thursday.
Every day this week, our Street Outreach team will head out at 7AM to perform welfare checks, visiting all known places where our clients spend time outside during the day or night. Our team will focus on making sure people sleeping in places unfit for human habitation survive the cold.
What You Can Do:
1) Help cover the costs of extending our shelter hours
Thank you for meeting our initial needs of providing lunches to each location! Besides meals, there are other significant costs involved in operating our emergency overnight shelters around the clock. To be a part of ensuring our guests do not have to venture out into the cold, make a contribution at https://ststephensmpls.org/donate, and designate “Shelter” in the drop-down list.
2) Donate specific winter safety items from our wish list.
The closure of our main office significantly limits our supporters’ ability to donate critical items this week. A very limited selection of items (men’s gloves, men’s mittens, men’s hats, and handwarmers) can be dropped off at 2211 Clinton Avenue from 9AM-6PM, exclusively through this Thursday. Due to limited storage space and to allow our staff to focus on providing services to our guests, please do not donate any items to our shelter other than these most-needed items at the specified times.
If you want to make an impact during the worst of the cold and cannot drop off needed items at Clinton Avenue, please make a financial donation at www.ststephensmpls.org/donate and designate “Shelter” or “Street Outreach” in drop-down list.
If you would like to donate items from our Amazon Wish List, please keep in mind that we won’t be receiving those items until after the temperatures rise. We will, of course, continue to need these items throughout the winter.
Please do not bring items to our main office location until it re-opens. Items piled up outside our door create a safety hazard, and may be ruined in the weather.
3) Share the existing list of severe weather warming sites, as you feel comfortable.
We encourage you to share information about these sites in Hennepin County with others as you are comfortable and able, to ensure that our Street Outreach team can work with the most isolated and vulnerable individuals. If you are concerned for someone’s physical safety, call 911.
4) Contact your elected officials at the city, county, and state levels. Let them know that you want a comprehensive plan in our community to address homelessness in cold weather.
When this announcement was first posted, it was yet to be confirmed that the second shelter at First Covenant Church would be able to extend hours.