Racine shelter to shut down, but director says he’s “not going to abandon” those in need

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RACINE (WITI) -- The freezing temperatures are dangerous for anyone, but especially those without a place to take shelter. In Racine, dozens are left worrying about that -- after a popular overnight shelter announced it could be closing its doors in a matter of days.

Organ music filled St. Luke's Episcopal Church on Wednesday afternoon, January 7th -- and the sound reached into the next room where dozens sat -- taking shelter from the cold. The man at the keyboard, Ed Danoski, knows that room well. When Danoski is not playing the organ, he's hard at work volunteering for the very shelter he uses.

"If this place shuts down, I don't know where anybody is going to go," said Danoski.

Shutting down is a very real possibility for Danoski and the more than 25 others who eat, sleep and stay warm at the shelter. Because of a lack of money, volunteers and space, the overnight shelter at St. Luke's will close as of Sunday, January 11th.

The shelter's director, Rev. Kevin Stewart, says it wasn't easy to give this news to those people in need. But he says he didn't have a choice.

"We've done our best. The need is too great -- and on Sunday morning, we will no longer be able to continue. But I promised them -- I promised them that we were not going to abandon them, and we would seek and find a solution," said Rev. Stewart.

In order to stay open the shelter needs help. Donations of blankets, clothes, money and volunteers are needed. If you can help out, you're urged to call Rev. Stewart at 414-405-5619 or email him at clerickevin@me.com.

5 comments

  • Irm Hess

    Why can’t People stay in Public High Schools Gymnasiums for Shelter? School is closed anyway. Hot showers and the use of locker rooms would help. People aren’t in the buildings anyway at night.

    • Marcia

      Even overnight shelters have codes and requirements they have to meet in order to be allowed to open. The only way to get around those is not to declare it a shelter, but call it “overnight prayer”, then offer food and places to “rest” on the side. I think a Milwaukee southside church actually did something like that a few years back.

  • Sarah

    I just made a food and clothing donation this afternoon and was so excited about how many people I saw coming in and out bringing donations to the shelter. What is the update on this situation? Are they able to provide shelter for a longer period of time?

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