March 31st marks the end of the Extreme Weather shelter season. We'll reopen again once the season resumes in November.
The winter was milder than last year and even though we tried to push the boundaries of the extreme weather criteria so we'd open more, we were open only 29 nights compared to last year's 35. Even with less nights open, we saw almost as many unique individuals: 36 this year, compared to 37 last. We welcomed four couples (only one couple last year) and eight women (up from four last year).
We recorded 181 bed nights, and served over 500 meals. The total number of guests per night was down by an average of one person per night. Lower numbers for people needing shelter is a good thing, although one of our regular guests from last year is in long term care, so that person would have evened the averages.
At least four guests secured permanent housing this season and likely more that we don't know about. Since we don't have a permanent presence, and most of our guests don't have a permanent location, it's hard to stay in touch to see how folks are doing. Perhaps the most surprising statistic is that of the 36 people we saw this season, we only saw 9 of them last season. So twenty-seven people stayed at the shelter for the first time ever. It seems as people find homes, more find themselves homeless.
I'd like to thank all those who supported the shelter this season, those who donated food and cash and clothing, those who came to the shelter to make and serve incredible meals (64 folks helped here), our overnight staff and our committee members. Together, you've helped make the Inn a very welcoming place, a place many of our guests thought of as home.