No shelter space for February
Last updated 12/1/2021 at Noon
As of now, there is no location for the Sisters Cold Weather Shelter next February.
In the November 24 issue of The Nugget the “City snapshot” incorrectly reported that the Episcopal Church of the Transfiguration would be hosting the Sisters Cold Weather Shelter during the month of February 2022.
That information came from the shelter’s letter of November 4 to the City and the summary of Resolution No. 2021-20, which authorized temporary shelter facilities during severe cold weather conditions. Council voted to approve the resolution at their November 17 Council meeting. In a November 20 letter to the shelter organizers, the church informed them they would not be hosting.
Before the Episcopal Church could send their letter to the City indicating their willingness to host the shelter, they asked to see the shelter’s protocol for dealing with COVID. The shelter is requiring masks prior to lights out, six feet of distancing, and will be taking temperatures upon entry, quarantining anyone with a fever over 100.
The vestry of the Episcopal Church does not feel they can host the shelter gatherings where not everyone is required to be vaccinated.
According to the Reverend Joseph Farber, “The majority of our vestry is of the opinion that vaccination is a religious and civic duty for the protection of others. In light of the extraordinary crisis that our local hospitals are still experiencing, we do not feel that we can responsibly sponsor gatherings where being unvaccinated is acceptable. It not only potentially contributes to the ongoing crisis, but also endangers our congregation and the very people we are hoping to serve and protect against the
Farber reported that only about two congregants are not vaccinated and for services everyone wears a mask.
Because of the vaccination concern, the vestry decided to withdraw from participation in the warming shelter this year. If the board of the shelter were to require vaccinations, the church would be happy to revisit the question, according to Farber.