Winter Shelter: FAQs

2019 Winter Shelter Frequently Asked Questions

Mark your calendars for this year’s Winter Shelter! Watch for e-mails to sign up for volunteer shifts and donating supplies.

What are the dates for this year’s Winter Shelter?

  • Women’s:  Sunday, January 20, – Sunday, January 27
  • Men’s:   Sunday, February 10 – Sunday, February 17

What are the arrival and departure times for each role or task?

  • Evening driver: Pick up guests beginning at 6:45 pm at the Elizabeth House. Circle back if needed.
  • Dinner prep, serve, clean up: 5 pm at the earliest, later is fine.  Appetizers should be out by 6:45 pm. Dinner is served at about 7 pm.
  • Evening chaperone: 6:30 pm to 10:30 pm
  • Overnight chaperone: 10 pm to 6:45 am
  • Shelter set up:
    • Sunday Jan 20, 9:30-11:30 am, Women’s WS
    • Sunday Feb 10, 9:30-11:30 am, Men’s WS
  • Shelter break down:
    • Sunday Jan 27, 9:30-11:30 am, Women’s WS
    • Sunday Feb 17, 9:30-11:30 am, Men’s WS

What are the responsibilities for each role or task?

  • Evening driver: Pick up guests beginning at 6:45 pm at the Elizabeth House. Continue to circle back to Elizabeth House until all guests are picked up.
  • Dinner prep, serve, clean up:
    • Meal: Either you will prepare and cook a meal or reheat an earlier prepared meals in refrigerator. Please adhere to Kashrut policies (see below).
    • Prepare and set out appetizers by 6:45 pm.
    • Make accompanying items.
    • Set up dinner buffet including dessert items from donations.
    • Clean up after dinner.

Evening chaperone:

  • Check in guests at front desk (see below).
  • Set out evening snacks, drinks, paper goods. Monitor & refill.
  • Ask guests if they would like a bag lunch for the next day. Lunches are leftovers from dinner, tuna or cheese sandwich. Some guests may choose a variety of snacks and fruit, or breakfast bars.
  • Prepare the bag lunches.

Overnight chaperone:

  • Monitor guests.
  • In morning set up breakfast tables.
  • Ensure that guests are up and ready to go by 6:45 am.
  • Give each guest an admit slip for that evening.
  • On the last day of the shelter, before leaving with the guests, move all the WS items toward the front of the social hall for item pick up.

Shelter set up: Organize kitchen donations, arrange WS supplies that arrive from previous location, decorate social hall to welcome our guests.

Shelter break down: Pack up WS items to be delivered to next site; take down and store decorations; straighten up and organize kitchen.

If I am working the dinner shift (prepare, serve, clean up) will I have to bring dinner or make it from scratch?

It depends. Some of the main dishes have been prepared ahead of time by the children in the upper and lower schools (thank you!). Other meals will be made that evening by the evening chaperones. Items such as salad, corn bread, or vegetables will need to be prepared.

Please keep in mind our kashrut rules! We are serving dairy meals only.

All prepackaged food should be marked with a heksher (kosher symbol) with a few exceptions such as cheese & vegetarian salsa. For further information on the Oseh Shalom kashrut policy, visit http://www.oseh-shalom.org/religious-policies/ .

All kitchen work must be done on the dairy side of the kitchen.

Is there a check-in procedure for guests?

Yes. A check in table is set up at the front of the social hall. Each guest will have an admit slip (given to each guest, by overnight chaperone, in the morning prior to leaving). When guests arrive in the evening they will present the admit slip, and volunteers will sign them in on the guest log.

What time does dinner begin and end?

Dinner is served around 7 pm. No real end time.

What do our guests do until dinnertime?

When guests arrive in the evening, they may like to freshen up and get situated. They may want to socialize with each other and us and enjoy appetizers until dinner.

What happens after dinner?

Guests may continue to socialize, play games, or begin to get ready for bed. We will have cards and games available.

Will I be working alone?

No, each shift will have at least 2 people, more for the men’s shelter.

What time do we leave in the morning?

The overnight shift ends at 6:45 am. Overnight chaperones are responsible for driving the guests back to the Elizabeth House.

I want to contribute to Winter Shelter but I cannot make it to the shelter or go out to buy supplies. How can I help?

Some Oseh members prefer to make a monetary donation to WS. If so, please make your check out to Oseh Shalom and complete a donation form that signifies that your donation is intended for Social Action/Winter Shelter. You can place the check in the Community Services mail slot (Attn: Eileen), or give to Andrew (in the office).

Can I bring my children to the Winter Shelter?

We welcome children’s participation and encourage families to bring them! Please keep in mind the following guidelines that we have set for both the women’s and the men’s shelters.

Children should be polite and respectful to our guests but, at the same time, be reminded that they should not share personal information with our guests such as their phone number or address.

Older children should avoid wearing revealing or provocative clothing.

Please let children know that they should speak with their parent or an adult chaperone if they are concerned about any interaction they have with a guest.

What if I cannot stay the whole time?

First, we are grateful for any help you can offer! And we understand that people may have to leave early because they have small children or other responsibilities. We ask that you please let us know your plans beforehand so that we can plan coverage accordingly.

Whom do I contact to help?

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