Going into her first full season with GMC’s winter shelter, Case Manager Sabrina Burrell was nervous. “But after a couple of weeks,” she says, “I was feeling really comfortable.” Sabrina credits the supportive dynamics of the shelter residents, and the safe environment that staff, volunteers, and residents created together. The residents “were able to talk about anything with me,” Sabrina says, “not just as a case manager, but as a human being.” Sabrina says she learned from the shelter residents, even as she helped care for them. Some began referring to her as “Mother Sabrina” because of her consistent care.
For the 26th year, the winter shelter once again provided warmth, safety, and community for 10 residents during the coldest months of the year. The shelter, which is hosted each year by a rotating group of Georgetown congregations, closed for the season on March 26. GMC’s goal is to provide shelter for the residents during the winter months and to assist in moving them toward more permanent housing solutions.
To that end, Sabrina is excited by the number of residents who she was able to connect with services. In all, more than half were connected to a housing voucher or program by the end of the shelter. Sabrina notes that each resident has unique challenges to face in their journey towards permanent housing. Some residents are excited to look for housing, while others are reluctant to seek government assistance. So Sabrina has the task of working with each unique person, encouraging, challenging, and supporting them. It’s this personal touch that makes the GMC winter shelter so special. Volunteers and staff are able to interact and learn from the residents, and residents find not only physical shelter, but also a place to let their guard down.
― David Finnegan-Hosey
Want so help GMC provide a space for our guests to let their guards down? Between now and May 31, we are once again working to raise $10,000 to receive a matching $10,000 grant from the Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation. We hope you’ll join with us and help us meet the match!