The holidays are just around the corner, and that means homeless shelters and transitional housing facilities fill up fast.
So what can you do to be prepared for the predictable spike in guests? We have a few ideas to make sure you know how to make the holidays a time of comfort and joy for those under your roof.
If you run a homeless shelter or rescue mission, you undoubtedly have a desire to help the homeless, and the last thing you want is to turn someone down -- especially around the holidays. That's why your first order of business this time of year is to make sure you have as many beds as your facility can hold.
The Folding Single Metal Bed is the most popular style for transitional housing facilities, and metal bunk beds are a great way to make the most of the limited space you have. Of course, you'll also need mattresses for those beds. Do your research and decide if vinyl mattresses or nylon mattresses are the better choice for your non-profit transitional housing facility.
The more homeless shelter beds you have, the more blankets you'll need to put on them. Additionally, as the weather gets colder, blankets are even more necessary. Don't skimp on stocking up on fleece blankets for your homeless shelter. At the rate people come and go through homeless shelters during the holidays, we'd be shocked if you ended up with blankets you didn't know what to do with.
Although we all cringe at the thought of having to turn someone away on a bleak winter night, it's likely to happen at your homeless shelter this holiday season. The least you can do is send them away with a couple fleece blankets.
Hopefully, by now you've already planned some type of Thanksgiving meal dinner for your guests, and you're thinking about what types of meals and events you can do in December. Remember to call on volunteers to help you with these events! While people are extremely busy around the holidays, many are actually looking for ways to volunteer and truly make this a season one of goodwill toward men.
It's important to be organized as you assemble your team of volunteers. Plan how long each volunteer shift along with a description of tasks involved. People are more likely to volunteer their time if they know what they're doing and how long they're doing it.
We recommend making each volunteer shift at least three hours. Any shorter, and you'll spend the majority of your time meeting new volunteers and explaining their role to them. In addition, you may end up with a more dedicated group if your volunteers have committed to working a half day or even an entire day.
On the other hand, if you solicit the help of those willing to squeeze only one hour of volunteer activities into their already chaotic schedules, you may find yourself working with volunteers who are less focused on helping and more concerned about checking off their good deed for the holiday season and getting to Starbucks before Peppermint Mocha Happy Hour ends.
If your homeless shelter or rescue mission lacks the space necessary to invite a steady flow of guests and volunteers in for a sit-down meal, consider offering a to-go meal. This way, you can still provide a nourishing meal without making your setting uncomfortable by overcrowding it. Many times, guests actually prefer a meal that is packaged to go because they can take food back to their families.
As a non-profit organization, fundraising and donations are your bread and butter. People are especially generous around the holidays, and many businesses are looking to partner with an admirable cause.
That means the holidays are the best time to make others aware of your non-profit organization's vision and needs. As you raise funds for your cause, make sure people are completely clear on two things:
- What to donate
- How to donate (And make it easy!)
People are tired of making decisions around the holidays -- what to put in their dad's stocking, where to put the Christmas tree, what to bake for their friend's Christmas party. Take away the decision-making part of donating, and you'll likely get better results from your donors.
Are you prepared?
So where do you fall on the holiday preparation scale? If you need some help in the bedding department, American Bedding is here to help! Contact us online or call us at (800) 203-2507. We'd love to help you get your homeless shelter ready for the most wonderful time of the year!
Want to see more of our mattress and metal bed options? Click on the banner below to download a catalog!