To the Alton and Madison County and community,
Manifested Mercy is writing to support the Overnight Warming Centers in Alton project, as our mission to provide people with second chances corresponds with making sure lives are saved and bettered during the colder seasons coming quickly upon us this winter of 2019/2020.
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Our mission is to help 4 sectors of our society in their recovery process – those removing themselves from criminal thinking and incarceration, those battling addictions and in active recovery, those overcoming suicidal thoughts and dealing with suicidal loss, and giving back to those who have been victimized. One of the main ingredients in this regards is one of the six points we work to provide: Safe Housing (the other five areas we work with are gainful employment, further programming and education, maintaining and/or gaining a faith base, reconnection with family and community, and accountability)
In Madison County, and the whole state of Illinois, we lack proper shelter and certified halfway housing to help set people up to succeed where they can work on the other points we address – often our attempts to find a place to live for someone upon release go unanswered as no one has a good solution. When temperatures go below 32 degrees, lives can be lost when there is no answer – and places like the Alton mall, the public libraries, and local restaurants, don’t provide the type of sleeping and hygiene necessities for someone to really be safe and clean.
If for the simple fact there is a need for those 15 to 30 days a year in our area where temperatures go below 20 degrees where someone can have bedding and a warm drink or meal, at least it is preventing death and giving a person a chance to get into a better place or start up a new normal to their life. It is much like how Narcan and/or detox/rehab/sober living can give a person one more chance at life – we recently attended a young man’s funeral who we helped 3 years ago – it not for the attempts through detox and rehab he may not have gotten those three years – in which time he worked, attended programming, got married, and spent it with his family. One night of warmth and safety can allow for just that.
We support the volunteers and plan put in place, and call for others to join in supporting this cause.
Jason and Tina Kelley