Reprinted from June 2008 Messenger.
Dutchess County Coalition for the Homeless (DCCH) is an organization that is part Hudson River Housing, and part Hudson River Housing at Hillcrest House, which is a 60 bed shelter for adults. Dinner and breakfast are provided along with showers and laundry facilities. Advocacy and referral services are also provided. For the past several years the Hyde Park United Methodist Church has "adopted a night" at the shelter. What this involves is for volunteers to serve the meals, providing one of them.
The shelter has had many transitions in the past years. At one time we had volunteers help transport guests, warm up meals, do laundry, spend the night, and serve a breakfast the next morning. That was when there were only twelve guests. The shelter volunteers DO NOT spend the night any more!
Last June, the shelter expanded to providing shelter for sixty adult guests. Now our volunteers are assisted by paid personnel and their main job is to serve the meal and provide hospitality to the guests. a one or two hour commitment
Our church's commitment is for the 3rd Sunday of the month. If you are interested in volunteering at the shelter, Karen Becker is our contact person.
Meals have also changed as of last June. Instead of a hot meal for twelve, we now provide sandwiches, fresh fruit, and desserts such as cookies or brownies for sixty.
Last fall, we also started serving soup. The kitchen facilities are not very big so it is difficult to do a hot meal. For the past nine months the senior high Sunday school class has been making sandwiches and soup for our "adopt a night". Volunteers have been supplying the bread, fruit, and dessert. The filling for the sandwiches and ingredients for soup has come out of the mission budget.
Something different will have to be done for the months of June, July, and August when the Sunday school does not meet. We will be looking for people to donate bread, cans of tuna, sandwich filling, etc. We may also need volunteers to help put the sandwiches together. If you didn't fill out a "time and talent" survey or did but now would be interested in volunteering to help donate food or make sandwiches, please contact Regina Calabro.