Holy Family Warming Shelter

 

“..For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.’” – Matthew 25:35-40

 Thank you for a successful first season at the Holy Family Warming Shelter. We will open again in November 2024!

On November 15, 2023, in collaboration with the community, the Holy Family Warming Shetler opened on First Street to offer up to 30 single adults experiencing homelessness a place of safety and respite during the winter months. The Holy Family Warming Shelter operates on the Christian values of compassion, dignity, and care for people of all backgrounds and beliefs. With the Warming Shelter’s central location, guests have access to public transport, as well as many organizations located near downtown.

Through April 30, 2024, the Holy Family Warming Shelter served 146 individuals and distributed more than 1,000 meals—all of which were donated. A volunteer team of 159 people helped to care for the shelter’s guests, with more than 32 local organizations represented among the volunteers.

“We were blessed to have an incredible team of staff and volunteers at the Holy Family Warming Shelter, all working with the common goal of providing the best care possible to those most in need in our community,” Holy Family Catholic Community Pastor, Very Rev. Ryan Pruess said.

Mark and Karen Krueger, who volunteered throughout the season, said their experience at the Holy Family Warming Shetler was “gratifying,” and helped them gain a “true understanding” of what it means to experience homelessness.

“They are people who appreciate the generosity of having a hot meal and a warm place to sleep. The guests appreciated the kindness and respect shown to them,” Mark and Karen Krueger said. “By just being able to volunteer and talking to the guests, we got a glimpse to see who they are. They are people with hopes and dreams for the future.”

As shelter employees and volunteers sought to meet clients with support, the community sought to do the same with the shelter. Hundreds of Holy Family Catholic Community parishioners and community members contributed needed items and thousands of dollars in support. Local government, as well as numerous businesses, churches, agencies, and organizations assisted by providing funds, and knowledge to help bring the warming shelter to fruition. Throughout the season, organizations offered guidance and resources, such as the Fond du Lac Family YMCA, which allowed shelter guests to use its showers, as the Holy Family Warming Shelter could not offer them this past season. In November, St. Katharine Drexel Shelter and the Fond du Lac County United Way partnered with the Holy Family Warming Shelter to raise awareness about homelessness in the area at their Day of Compassion, collecting more than $4,000 for the organizations.

“Without the widespread support we received, we would not have been able to care for the guests of the Holy Family Warming Shelter, let alone open. We are very grateful for everyone, from those who donated to those who volunteered, who helped in the shelter in some way this season,” Holy Family Director of Human Concerns Erin Cobb.

As only the most vital renovations were completed on the warming shelter prior to its opening in November 2023, further renovations will begin on the shelter this month. The updates will increase the warming shelter’s capacity, improve the facility’s accessibility, and add four on-site bathrooms and showers. These changes will elevate the level of care at the shelter, and further ensure a sense of dignity and respect for those experiencing homelessness. 

Support the Holy Family Warming Shelter

Numerous sources fund the Holy Family Warming Shelter, including government grants, private donations, and corporate sponsorships. We are grateful for the support of the local churches, City of Fond du Lac and Fond du Lac County government, and benefactors who have already contributed to this project to help bring it to fruition.

We of course welcome your involvement in this new mission. We are currently collecting donations to fund renovations of the Holy Family Warming Shelter and the upcoming season beginning in November 2024. If you are interested in making a monetary donation the shelter, you are invited to do so online through our WeShare portal by clicking here. If you would like to mail in your contribution, please make your donation to Holy Family Catholic Community with Warming Shelter in the memo line and send it to Holy Family Catholic Community, 271 Fourth Street Way, Fond du Lac, WI 54937

You can also purchase items off our Amazon Wish List here, which is regularly updated with our most needed items.

Get involved at the Holy Family Warming Shelter

We are so grateful to all the members of our community who have volunteered at the Holy Family Warming Shelter. Our volunteers are amazing, and have been a huge help in assisting our shelter guests and staff. If you are interested in getting involved at the shelter. To sign up, please fill out the form below. 

FAQs for our Guests

Potential Warming Shelter guests or those who interact with members of our community who may be potential guests are invited to read our frequently asked questions for more information about the Holy Family Warming Shelter. 

Thank you to Holy Family Warming Shelter Supporters!

Recently, The Catholic Community Foundation Awarded the Holy Family Warming Shelter a $10,000 grant to care for those who need it most in our community during the winter months. We are very grateful to the Catholic Community Foundation for their support. To learn more about the foundation, please visit legaciesoffaith.org.

 

Spreading the good news about the

Holy Family Warming Shelter

Click the below links to view media coverage of the Holy Family Warming Shelter.

  • Radio Plus Interview with Greg Stensland on September 21, 2023: click here.
  • Interview with FOX 11 on September 21, 2023: click here.
  • KFIZ article on September 25, 2023: click here.
  • Interview with NBC 26 on September 27, 2023: click here.
  • Story from the Fond du Lac Reporter on October 19, 2023: click here.