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Special Winter Storm Response

Terry Pallas, Chief Program Officer - February 12 2019


Special Winter Storm Response

It’s been a week no one will soon forget!

As the Seattle area was battered with the worst set of storms we’ve seen in decades, generous supporters like you allowed the Mission keep showing God’s love to our neighbors in the snow and cold.

“Every day, we show up to show God’s love to our homeless brothers and sisters. No matter the weather, no matter the circumstance, we will be there.” – Richard McAdams, Outreach Supervisor



The day before the first storm hit, we expanded outreach and Search & Rescue, adding stops at more encampment locations and expanding our daytime outreach.  

Last Sunday alone, the Mission transported more than 50 people to shelter and warming centers. This is the highest number of people we’ve seen come off the street in a single day!


Our vans were loaded with hats/gloves, sterno canned heat warmers, hand warmers, warm jackets and hoodies, pants, toiletry kits, snacks, sandwiches, hot cocoa and coffee.

We found that some tents were collapsing under the snow and people sleeping outside were sharing tents, just to stay warm. 

"While the tents that do hold up benefit from the snow as an insulator, RVs and cars do not and are deceptively cold," said Brian Chandler, Director of Outreach. "We also expended outreach to those folks who live in vehicles for that very reason."




Men lined up outside our Pioneer Square shelter to take advantage of overflow beds we lay out each evening – we increased our total capacity to 207.

Our KentHOPE women's overnight shelter was also sheltering at capacity in South King County. "The women reminded us that feeling love, having a warm meal and a roof over their head is a blessing," said Lisa Candler, Emergency Shelter Manager. "They told me, 'We feel loved that the staff continues to show up for us in these conditions.'”

And we served more than 300 addition meals each day, bringing our daily total to 2,650!

Throughout the storm, Mission staff and volunteers worked above and beyond their normal hours to serve those in need.

Men, women, and children in our emergency shelters and long-term recovery programs got to enjoy the snow – many for the first time in years! – knowing they had a hot meal and warm place to sleep to look forward to.