First published in the Dec. 2 print issue of the Pasadena Outlook.
Friends In Deed has shifted from its Bad Weather Shelter for a second year in a row due to COVID-19 and ongoing social distancing protocols.
Instead, the local charity will be holding regular and weather-activated supply distribution nights along with a limited number of motel rooms for those experiencing homelessness in the Pasadena area. This program will start in early January 2022 and run through late March.
Rabbi Joshua Levine Grater, executive director of Friends In Deed, said the organization is pleased to continue offering creative solutions during the pandemic for those experiencing homelessness.
“All of our programs have been able to shift to make accommodations for almost two years now,” Grater said. “Incredible thanks goes out to our local congregations and the city of Pasadena for working with us to provide for the vulnerable members of our community, as well as our wonderful board, staff and volunteers.”
Beginning in January, clients can visit First United Methodist Church (500 E. Colorado, Pasadena CA 91101) on Thursdays and weather-activated nights between 5 – 7p.m. Clients will have the opportunity to receive supplies, including ponchos, blankets, food, and more.
Additionally on Thursdays, Azusa Pacific University nursing program students will be on hand to provide health outreach and skin care. On any day of the week, when the weather is forecast to be colder than 40 degrees or more than 40% chance of rain, Friends In Deed will also have a limited number of motel room one-night stays to offer the most vulnerable members of the community, including the elderly, women, immuno-compromised, and those with mobility issues. Every day, members of the community can call (888) 915-8111 for automated information and to find out whether this program is activated for the night.
“We are working on ways to involve volunteers for this year’s program,” said Lindsey Reed, assistant director of Bad Weather Shelter, who is running this year’s supply distribution. “For now, volunteers can help collect cold weather supply donations for our distribution! That would be very helpful.”
Friends In Deed began offering the Bad Weather Shelter in 1988 after a man experiencing homelessness died from sleeping outside on a bus bench during freezing weather. The nonprofit stepped forward to offer a reprieve from inclement weather for the unhoused members of the local community. For more than 30 years, the shelter was held at Pasadena Covenant Church on Lake Avenue, but when the pandemic hit, Friends In Deed had to pivot to accommodate local precautions like social distancing. For the first three months of 2021, Friends In Deed partnered with Pasadena Presbyterian Church on Colorado Boulevard every Thursday and Sunday to offer a hot meal, supplies like clothing and sleeping bags, and care administered by local nursing students in an outdoor area.
Like many nonprofits, Friends In Deed depends entirely on philanthropy through development, grants, and fundraising efforts to do its work in the community. To learn more about Friends In Deed and its programs, visit friendsindeedpas.org.