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October 15, 2008 > Winter Relief Program Needs Assistance

Winter Relief Program Needs Assistance

Submitted By Carol Arata

Preparations for the seventh year of the Winter Relief Emergency Shelter Program are currently underway. The WRP is a collaborative project between the local faith communities in Fremont and Newark and Tri-City Homeless Coalition. The program grew out of the needs of families who were on the waiting list for Sunrise Village Shelter. As the list grew to over 102 families in August 2001, community leaders met with Tri-City Homeless Coalition staff to discuss how to help those families get through the cold and wet winter months.

Winter Relief will provide six months (November 1-April 30) of temporary housing for up to 10 families with a maximum of 40 people at one time.

Six local churches host the families and provide a sleeping site for a month-long period. At the end of each month, residents move to a new sleeping site. Centerville Presbyterian Church provides accommodations for showers, dinners, children's programs and adult support groups during the week. Bag lunches and dinners on weekends are provided by the host churches. Many other faith communities and volunteer groups support this project through other volunteer efforts and in-kind donations. But the needs increase each year and many more volunteers and donations are needed.

Many thanks to the following churches who will support Winter Relief in the coming months:

Host Churches:

Centerville Presbyterian Church, Corpus Christi Church, Family Bible Fellowship, Niles Congregational Church, Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, Saint James' Episcopal Church and South Bay Community Church.

Partner Churches:

Christ the King Lutheran Church, Filipino-American United Church of Christ, Fremont Congregational Church, Harbor Light Church, Holy Spirit Catholic Church, Newark First Presbyterian Church and The Little Brown Church of Sunol.

Faith communities, clubs or individuals can support this effective program by contacting Brenda Williams, Emergency Service Coordinator, at 510-252-0910 x12 or emailing bwilliams@tricityhomeless.org.

Donations to support Winter Relief may be mailed directly to Tri-City Homeless Coalition, 40849 Fremont Blvd., Fremont, CA 94538. Further information is available at www.tricityhomeless.org.

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