Cold weather shelter needed

The United Methodist Church does help with motel rooms, supplies and a soup kitchen.

The United Methodist Church does help with motel rooms, supplies and a soup kitchen.

Next time you settle into a warm, cozy bed and heated house at night, think about the people who live in tents by the Bishop canal. As one story goes, one of the homeless made it through a below freezing night in three sleeping bags. One local organization that helps and wants to do more is the United Methodist Church in Bishop.

Pastor Kathleen Puntar said that the Methodist Church does offer showers Monday, Wednesday and Friday that nearly a dozen people use on a regular basis. The same days, the Church offers a soup kitchen which serves some 75 regularly. But one need is currently not met. The pastor said, “There is a huge need for cold weather shelter in Bishop. One of our soup kitchen people said he slept in three sleeping bags the other night.”

Reverend Puntar said most people don’t tend to think of homeless people living outdoors in our area. But, she assured, they are there. The Methodist Church also tries to provide motel rooms, but she said that’s expensive – $60 to $70 per night. Puntar said a couple of the motels work with the church on this. But, they only provide rooms if someone is ill or has children. Said the pastor, “We have also offered sleeping bags and tents.”

Right now the church does not have facilities for a cold weather shelter. The Pastor said she would be delighted to sit down and talk to anyone who would like to get a cold weather shelter going in Bishop. Puntar said they would have to figure out what hoops to go through. She repeated, “People don’t see it, but there is a need.”

If you are interested, call Pastor Puntar at 872-7701 or drop by the United Methodist Church at 205 N. Fowler St.

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