This week we were privilege to interview a local volunteer at the Immanuel shelter for homeless individuals in Sussex County. Shelley Couch has been involved with this organization for quite some time now and shares in her interview below, exactly what Immanuel is, what it provides and how you can get involved in their cause!
1. Tell us a little about Immanuel Services and their mission statement.
2. When did you personally get involved and how has it impacted your life?
Immanuel’s Board of Directors was formed in August of this year – although we’ve provided shelter services for almost six years, we just filed for and received charity status this summer. Serving our homeless neighbors and friends is near and dear to my heart. At one time in my life I “couch surfed” for a brief period, relying on the kindness of others to keep me safe and warm. I believe many of us are one job loss or one serious illness away from being at risk for needing shelter services. It is for this reason that I volunteer.
3. How many people in need does Immanuel aid on a yearly basis?
We do not yet have a year-round facility but hope to have one by the end of 2016. For now, we open our doors December 1 through mid April or so and we’ll have approximately 160 individual guests experiencing homelessness that we’ll serve during those months. We shelter adult men and women. Families are sheltered in nearby hotels as funds permit. We do our very best to help everyone who comes to our doors.
4. What exactly does Immanuel provide for homeless and hungry individuals?
Immanuel provides shelter from the harsh, sometimes life-threatening winter elements, warmth, clean bedding, showers, meals, toiletries and other necessities, often clothing, and always friendly, supportive conversation. We operate very near the Community Resource Center (CRC) in Rehoboth Beach, and this facility offers additional services for those in need.
5. How could locals get involved in helping the program nearest them?
We have much to do between now and December 1st to get ready for guests at our new location. We are always in need of donatation – now and throughout the year. Monetary donations pay for utilities, meals and much more. We run extremely lean — month to month. But somehow we are blessed by caring businesses and individuals and we’ve never had to close our doors. Donations are tax deductible and can be made by visiting the Immanuel Shelter website: www.immanuelshelter.org. What someone might think is a small donation will make a huge difference. You’d be surprised. Plus, knowing that you’re helping keep people warm, fed and safe is good for the soul.
We are also in constant need of supplies at the Shelter. Things like toilet paper, new pillows and cases, paper towels, disposable razors, soap, shampoos – the necessities. And of course meals…. if a family can commit to, say, one meal for 30 people per month, or a church or business commit to one meal for 30 people per week, it would make a world of difference in our ability to provide services. You can contact us on our website or email firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a pick up or to learn of drop off locations.
Immanuel Shelter loves to make supporting our services fun! We’re having a two great fundraisers this week and we invite everyone to come out!
Every day, we at the Don Williams Realty Group work to help put families in homes. Thank you Shelley Couch, for helping us all to remember those that can not afford the luxury of purchasing their own place to live, due to hardships. We encourage all of our viewers to think about how you can better show support and show compassion to the homeless community in Sussex country through programs such as Immanuel. Remember, for all of your real estate needs in Rehoboth, the Don Williams Group is here for you. Call us today at 302-545-6859 to speak to a qualified agent that will work hard to make sure your expectations are met!