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Rev. Kevin Stewart Saturday morning told Hospitality Center participants that overnight shelter services will continue through the end of the winter.
Pastor Holly Anderson Anderle of First Baptist Church of Racine was there and captured the moments on her phone.
“I was blessed to be able to capture this picture of Kevin Stewart’s face as he choked back tears of overwhelming joy to tell these folks that the Hospitality Center would continue to offer emergency overnight shelter for the rest of this winter. What I couldn’t capture was the profound relief and peace that flooded this room at this announcement as the participants visibly released the fear and tension they’d been holding in for a week,” she said.
The announcement came after a week of uncertainty. Stewart said Monday evening that the Hospitality Center would cease overnight shelter activities because of a lack of resources; primarily space, volunteers for overnight shifts and food.
Since then, though, Stewart and his core group of 15 volunteers received an outpouring of support – including volunteers, food, clothes and money – and it was decided that the Hospitality Center would continue overnight operations through the end of the winter.
The search for a permanent emergency shelter solution is underway, and Anderle confirmed the faith Stewart has in the greater Racine community.
“The work begins now as we seek a permanent solution, but we know the entire community stands behind us. No one within our community’s reach will be hurt by or die from the cold,” she stated.