When the Boulder Shelter for the Homeless reaches capacity on cold nights - around 170 people - those that did not make the cut are turned away. But, due to the generosity of Boulder Outreach for Homeless Overflow (BOHO), volunteers, and participating churches and synagogues, homeless people seeking shelter still have a place to go.
This morning, Elle and I visited the BOHO warming center at Crestview Church (www.crestviewchurch.org) and brought pastries donated by the King Sooper grocery in Gunbarrel. Arriving at 7:00 am, we stayed until about 8:45 am to make and serve coffee and talk with those waking up in the warmth of the church's open areas.
Last night, the warming center was a temporary residence for about 40 adults. It was estimated that another 40 remained on the streets and took their risks with the cold weather.
When we finished at Crestview, we offered rides to a couple of homeless guys. One, an MD, Internal Medicine, who is battling lymphoma just needed a lift to a coffee shop to await a rendezvous with a friend and transportation to a Christmas celebration. The other needed to go to the Boulder Community Hospital Emergency Room for treatment of what appeared to be a broken wrist or hand -- injuries sustained during a slip on some ice following attendance at a Christmas Eve service. He's a mechanic and is concerned that this injury will keep him from work.
The rest of our day will be spent in thankful preparation for and enjoyment of time with family. For most of the homeless people we met this morning, the day will spent be like most others - on the street and trying to stay warm and nourished.