I am writing to this community on behalf of the Boundary Emergency Transitional Housing Society (BETHS). As many of you know we provide emergency shelter to those in need of it in the Grand Forks and surrounding Boundary area during the cold winter months. We have joined in a collaborative venture with Whispers of Hope and Habitat for Humanity in what we call the Multi Agency Accommodation Project (MAAP).
Through the good graces of our mayor and council we share a building on Riverside Drive that accommodates all three of these community programs under one roof.
I am one of eight directors on the BETHS board. I am writing to you because we need the help of this community to fullfill our goal of providing emergency shelter to those in need, each night for this coming winter season.
Each night the shelter is open we have a trained paid staff member in attendance. We need one volunteer each night to help in this effort. In order to make this work we need a group of 15-20 volunteers in total.
Each volunteer would be prepared to help out for two nights per month for five months. That is one night every two weeks.
This is not an onerous task. Staff on duty could potentially have the option to alternate getting some sleep, while it’s quiet and guests are sleeping, and if the shelter is unattended by midnight for any reason, then the shelter is shut down for the night. All shifts will be scheduled well in advance and we can be flexible in this regard.
We currently have about ten volunteers. We need twice that many to make this work properly and not overload anyone. If we don’t have help we may not be able to open or we may have to close mid-season.
I once read, that the most valuable thing in life that you have to give to another person, is your time.
No matter how rich or poor, or how fortunate or unfortunate we are, we all have roughly the same time to spend.
Our community is ultimately what we make of it and it boils down to how much time we have to spend on one another.
Please consider if you have a little time to help someone else have a warm bed out of the cold.
I can be reached at: elliotteskey@ gmail.com
Elliot Teskey, BETHS secretary