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Shelter in need of last-minute giving

Posted: December 24, 2013 - 12:02am

The Glory Hole is hoping for a few more Christmas gifts; in particular cash, though checks would be welcome too. And it doesn’t have to be in time for Christmas. Any time before New Year’s Day donations would happily be accepted.

Executive Director Mariya Lovishchuk said the Glory Hole is about $40,000 shy of its budgeted goal, leaving her just a week before she’ll have to make some difficult decisions about which programs and services will have to be cut.

“This is the first time I’ve been so worried about it this late in the holiday season,” she said. “I have a hard time thinking about it because there’s not much to cut.”

Lovishchuk said about 60 percent of the Glory Hole’s contributions come in between Thanksgiving and Christmas, but that wasn’t the case this year.

“Usually by this time each year we’ve received all the donations we need,” she said.

The Glory Hole’s operating fund has increased in recent years as more positions and programs have been added. Lovishchuk said the shelter’s client to employee ratio has gone from 80-1 to 40-1 during that time.

Among the staff changes was the addition of an outreach coordinator/housing specialist, who helps Glory Hole clients transition from the shelter to their own living space once a client has been at the shelter for more than 60 days.

Other positions include one part time and three full-time employees who work in the kitchen, coordinate volunteer help, assist clients and handle other day-to-day tasks. Two full-time shelter advocates oversee the shelter in the evening. Previously a client filled that role for $8 an hour.

“Shelter advocates work upstairs to ensure (The Glory Hole) is secure and safe, but they don’t live there,” Lovishchuk said. “We’ve worked hard to get a qualified staff who can earn a living wage.”

She said the staff positions and addition of several new programs, like its wellness and labor programs, are so the shelter can be more than “a warehouse for homeless.”

“We want to give help to get (shelter residents) back on their feet,” she said.

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