Dear Decaturish – Spend some time at Hagar’s House during the holidaysChildren can read and play in the community room at Hagar's House Emergency Shelter in Decatur. Photo by Dena Mellick
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Every Tuesday when I get off of work, I head over to a small emergency shelter right down the road from me in downtown Decatur to spend some time with the children living there. I spend my evenings at Hagar’s House reading books with the children, helping with homework, and doing craft projects. I find it is a great way to connect to my local community and help out a truly overlooked population in the area.
While Hagar’s House may only be a five-bedroom home, it is one of the only emergency shelters for women and children in DeKalb County, and it means a great deal to those homeless families who need to spend a couple months living there while working to regain stable housing.
On a normal day, the shelter is open from 5 p.m. in the evening until 7:30 a.m. the next morning. However, with the upcoming school break, coupled with the cold winter weather, the shelter tries to stay open all day on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s Day. This way, the families who do not have family and friends in the area can enjoy the holiday in a warm and comfortable environment and so working mothers with school-age children have a safe place for their children to be while they are at work.
In order to offer this to families, we need volunteers (individuals or families) who can commit to two-hour shifts between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. on these four days. Interested volunteers will be provided a brief orientation prior to scheduling their preferred volunteer hours.
Signing up is easy. Simply contact our Volunteer Coordinator, Machelle Scandrett, at 404-377-5365, ext. 107 or contact Hagar’s House Program Manager, Sybil Corbin, at 404-370-0914 for more information. We hope that you’ll share your time during the holidays with the families at Hagar’s House.