Update: Winter Shelter in Enumclaw

Here at Light Up the City we have the honor to hear stories from around the network and we feel it is our responsibility to share them through our blog, Facebook, and other media outlets. One narrative often heard: the Seattle Region is one of the least churched regions in the United States. While that may be true, God loves this region and has situated His Church to love on it too. As part of the LUTC network, you can expect to read and hear regular reports of ministry, service and inspiring stories to back up a different narrative- one that sheds light on how God is moving through his people to reach the poor, lost and marginalized in the great PNW.

Last year we reported on a winter shelter ministry in Enumclaw that is organized by several congregations and Plateau Outreach Ministries (POM). We are providing an update on the shelter this week by heading back to the far corners of King County, which is nestled on a volcanic plateau at the foot of the Cascade mountain range. The city’s downtown is quaint and businesses are doing well- coffee shops, sweet shops, restaurants and the post office hearken to an idyllic time and place, a sort of “Anytown, USA” nostalgia. Neighbors know each other and want to help whenever there is need. Which is why, in part, the churches assisted to form Plateau Outreach Ministries in 1998, which eventually led to the winter shelter being opened three years ago. Puyallup’s Freezing Nights program was the model and shelter volunteers come from about 10 churches in Enumclaw and seven churches host (one night per week rotation). The guests check in at POM and are driven to the sites each night. Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission provided training for volunteers, which Executive Director Britt Nelson says, “[The Mission’s] experience and expertise made our volunteers feel so much more comfortable about a new and unfamiliar program.”

It’s so encouraging to hear this winter shelter is still operating to serve the homeless community in Enumclaw. It is inspiring to witness the Church find practical and tangible ways to serve those in need. Expect more stories from around the Greater Seattle region- we hope they will encourage and inspire. Do YOU have a story you’d like to share with us? Something your church, small group or ministry is doing to serve? Please write us, we’d love to hear from you! -Nathan A. Ryan

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