About the Shelter
Founded in 1986 in cooperation with The Partnership for the Homeless, the David B. Skinner Shelter provides safe lodging for 12 men, 365 nights a year. The Shelter operates in cooperation with Urban Pathways, an organization serving the adult homeless and formerly homeless populations in New York. Each night of the year, men and women from the FAPC congregation and its friends put our faith into action by volunteering our time to create a safe and renewing environment and helping our guests to develop a sense of community within the church and among the volunteers.
Our Shelter Guests
The 12 men who stay in the Shelter are currently experiencing homelessness in New York City. They bring varied and diverse backgrounds with them. Some have never spent a night on the street, while others have lived on the streets for many years. They come from as far as California China, and Africa. They have served in World War II, driven taxis in NYC, and even skated professionally at Rockefeller Center. The men serve as an inspiration to the volunteers and bring more than 600 years of life experience into our Shelter each night.
Becoming a Volunteer
The Early Evening Host opens the Shelter and welcomes the guests into the church when they arrive each evening on a bus from Urban Pathways, where they receive counseling, job training and assistance in obtaining housing. The Early Evening Host arrives by 7 pm, makes coffee, sets out food for snacks and finishes by 8:30 pm.
The Overnight Host arrives by 8:30 pm and sleeps in the Host Room (separate, secure sleeping quarters adjacent to the Shelter). The Overnight Host puts the unused food away before retiring to bed, prepares coffee in the morning and sees the guests off by 6 am.
A brief orientation and training must be completed before volunteering as an Early Evening or Overnight Host. Because the Shelter supports different events such as birthday parties, movie and game nights, and special holiday celebrations at Thanksgiving and Christmas, there are additional opportunities, other than serving as a Shelter Host, to volunteer your time.