An Evening of Caring & Sharing

An Evening of Caring & Sharing

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Bowling Green Road

Bowling Green Road

Front Royal, VA 22630

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Our annual fundraiser is a fun evening with dinner, live music, dancing, raffles, awards, and more.

About this event

The Winchester Area Temporary Thermal Shelter (WATTS) will be hosting its third annual fundraiser event. Our annual fundraiser is a fun evening with dinner, live music, dancing, raffles, awards, and more, where we recognize all the volunteers, churches, community organizations, and businesses who make WATTS a success each and every season. The event is also the major means through which we secure necessary funding for our organization and the upcoming shelter season. Like many other non-profits, WATTS has not been able to hold fundraiser events for the past two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, so we want this year’s event to be phenomenal, but we need your help:

Our overnight shelter operates from November through March each year with our guests receiving the hospitality of churches and other community organizations who provide their buildings for shelter and also make sure guests have a nice dinner as well as breakfast the next morning. Primarily, WATTS serves individuals from Winchester, Frederick, and Clarke counties, but our doors are open to ANY homeless person needing help, with many of our guests coming from neighboring Shenandoah, Warren, Berkeley, and Jefferson counties.

Despite the ongoing pandemic, WATTS continued to operate without any lapse in our regularly offered services. In fact, in the past two years, WATTS has actually expanded the services we offer. In 2020, we envisioned and succeeded in opening a Warming Center where homeless individuals could go during the day to warm up, get snacks and water, use a restroom, and have other basic needs met. The Warming Center was so successful that we continued to offer it in our 2021-2022 season. This past season, we saw 136 homeless individuals utilize our Warming Center; of those, 24% never entered our overnight shelter. This is indicative of the great number of “hidden” homeless in our community: people living in their cars, storage units, or couch surfing. Similar to the Warming Center, during the summer of 2021 WATTS further expanded our services and opened a daytime Cooling Center in response to weather extremes of heat and rain. Once again, we found that it met a great need within our community so we plan to continue running the Cooling Center again this summer.

Over the years we’ve found that oftentimes five months is not enough time to help someone who is homeless with getting out of homelessness. Many have lost everything, including vital records and identification. Rebuilding a life and navigating the various agencies is tricky and complex, which is why WATTS saw a need to expand our services further this past year and create our Transition Support Staff (TSS) team. This team of three incredibly passionate and dedicated people work year-round to help our guests with such things as obtaining birth certificates and identification, assisting with job applications, forms for Centralized Housing Intake, and apartments, applying for Medicaid, Medicare, and SNAP benefits, information and placement in drug and alcohol detox/rehabilitation programs, and much, much more. All of these services are crucial to setting our guests on the path to a safe, stable future.

Homelessness isn’t just the problem of a few; most people today are only one or two catastrophic events away from becoming homeless and once you’re homeless, getting out is extremely difficult. WATTS is truly a community effort in the fight against homelessness. We do not receive federal or state funding - donations from generous individuals, churches, community organizations, businesses, and foundations, in combination with successful fundraising efforts are the life-blood that allows us to continue our mission and keep expanding our services. We couldn’t do it without you and we earnestly appreciate your support, partnership, and heart for the homeless in our community.

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