Store’s temporary closure impacting shelter


Shelter finding other ways to get needed funds

DECATUR, Ill. (WCIA)– God’s Shelter of Love is a home for families that need support. “It’s like a base stepping stone for them into their new journey for them to get an apartment of their own and jobs,” said Ruth Parkhurst, God’s Shelter of Love volunteer. They operate another shelter that had to temporarily close because of plumbing issues. God’s Shelter of Love is important for women and children. “Here it’s safe for them,” said Parkhurst. “If we shutdown, there is absolutely no shelter in the city for women and children,” said Dan Watkins, God’s Shelter of Love Executive Director. That’s why the Executive Director of the shelter says it’s important to have the money to keep theirs doors open.

Blessingdale’s Thrift Store helps bring in over half of the money needed to run their shelters. It helps pay for necessities like food and utilities, but the doors are temporarily closed because of coronavirus restrictions. That’s making a big impact on their shelters. “I know we were allowed to open up for online sales and curbside pickup, but we’re never going to come close to what the store brings in,” said Watkins. Recent grants from United Way and The Community Foundation bought them some time. However, even when they can open their doors again, other concerns will still linger. “Is it just ten people in the store? What are the limitations, and are people willing to come back and shop?” said Watkins. Those are questions Watkins can’t answer for sure. Only time will tell.

For people who are looking to support the Executive Director says there are ways you can help. They’re asking for prayers, donations, and for people to shop at Blessingdale’s Thrift Store.

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