Carson City ‘Night Off the Street’ seeking volunteers

Saint Teresa of Avila Catholic Community on 3000 N. Lompa Lane will be the first church hosting ‘Night Off the Street’ participants in November. Local congregations will rotate approximately monthly to take in unhoused residents who need a place to spend the night this winter.

Saint Teresa of Avila Catholic Community on 3000 N. Lompa Lane will be the first church hosting ‘Night Off the Street’ participants in November. Local congregations will rotate approximately monthly to take in unhoused residents who need a place to spend the night this winter.
Photo by Faith Evans.

Carson City’s Night Off the Street, a winter program that offers unhoused residents shelter at local churches, is looking for more volunteers to help them through the season starting Nov. 1.
“If anybody is willing to step up, we’d love to have them,” Molly McGregor, a NOTS organizer, said in a phone call with the Appeal. “We really do need folks.”
Those ages 18 and up who can assist with check-ins and check-outs, temperature taking, social distancing, supply distribution, and other small tasks, can sign up for shifts at local churches. Shifts are broken up into 3- and 4-hour chunks between 8:30 p.m. and 7 a.m.
McGregor said that she especially needs volunteers to cover hours between 11:30 p.m. and 7 a.m., the middle and morning shifts.
No experience is required, and all training is provided. To volunteer, reach out to McGregor at notscarson@gmail.com or 775-600-2632. NOTS is hoping to find enough people to cover shifts in pairs of at least one man and one woman.
Sharon Hughes, who’s on her third year serving with NOTS, said she’s had a good experience volunteering and helping those who need a place to stay the night.
But that’s not to say it’s been a cakewalk. During the pandemic, NOTS has faced tighter capacity restraints and volunteer shortages, Hughes said.
McGregor is hoping that they won’t have to turn anyone away at the door due to social distancing guidelines.
Carson City’s unhoused population has grown from just under 100 to approximately 300 this year, according to Mayor Lori Bagwell, who shared those figures at a recent Coffee & Conversation with the Mayor in the Chamber of Commerce. Some of the churches involved in the NOTS program have to limit their capacity to about 60 people.
But the work NOTS provides is invaluable. In 2016, Carson City had four residents die of exposure because they had nowhere to spend the night. Since NOTS formed in 2017, they’ve successfully eliminated exposure-related deaths.
The program runs through March, and local churches switch off hosting unhoused residents.

Comments

Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment