Celebrating lives changed in our Lancaster community.
Mark your calendars for Top Chefs and Drive Away Hunger, both events that make a big splash each year not only for those who attend, but in supporting Water Street.
Show your support for Water Street as well as the local organizations, churches, businesses and individuals in our Lancaster community who are making a difference.
Your business will help make Lancaster the unique place it is, and we’ll get your brand in front of thousands of Water Street supporters.
Whether its to increase awareness, fundraise, or just come together as a community, Water Street events are a great way to show your support for lives changed in Lancaster County.
On June 18 support the general ongoing financial needs of caring for those experiencing homelessness in Lancaster County, the annual golf tournament invites local professionals to enjoy a round of golf at an exclusive and historic private club. After the match, participants enjoy a catered meal and comradery with other players, leaving refreshed and more deeply connected to our work in the community.
On the evening of September 14, 2021 we are uniting as a community of believers in Long’s Park to praise the One who holds us together. We’ll also be celebrating how God has worked through us to love neighbor in spite of the difficulties of the past year. You won’t want to miss this incredible, free event!
Occurring November 1st to the end of December, we set a goal of 70,000 pounds of food donated through this drive to help support our guests through the winter months! This is such a fun way for businesses and families to get involved in supporting the most vulnerable individuals and families in our Lancaster community.
Celebrating Water Street and Lancaster heroes making a difference, on November 16 we will honor four individuals who serve our community each in their own powerful way. Join us for this wonderful evening celebration of the people who make Lancaster and Water Street such great places and to live and seek restoration, respectively.
Join the conversation happening at the Ware Center on March 24, 2022! This year, with over 100 pastors and church leaders from across Lancaster County, we’ll discuss how to bring the love of Christ into a world filled with hate. We’ll aim to uncover how we supersede the atmosphere of division that is spurred by our current media environment and is finding its way into many of our churches and neighborhoods.
Throughout this season, we have encountered a number of challenges in operating our shelter safely. Thankfully we have been blessed to see no community spread among our guests. This is due not only to the work of our team, but also the ways that upgrades to our facilities came at just the right time.
For example, Providence Shelter, which opened in November 2019, provides additional spacing and a top-tier air filtration system. We have also been able to implement the same air filtration standards in our dining hall prior to the most recent wave of COVID.
Because a high percentage of our guests have preexisting health conditions, we have had to be diligent in our safety protocols, doing our best to ensure their safety. For us that has included implanting all CDC disinfecting, masking and social distancing from the very beginning. This has led to major changes in roles and responsibilities of staff. Staff have taken over disinfecting in shifts all over campus. They have also delivered much of our support services and programs through zoom, hosting counseling sessions and classes virtually and meeting in-person with plexi-glass dividers only when necessary.
For meals, we’ve changed preparation and delivery to help minimize interaction of guests who live in different facilities. At times that has meant delivering meals to certain Residential Floors so we can keep smaller groups in the dining hall. We have also had to restrict guests’ travel on and off campus to only essential trips such as going to work, the doctors, shopping etc., in order to minimize unnecessary exposure.
Another change in this season has been how we do intakes. Currently, the intake process requires new guests to be tested for COVID-19. They await their test results in a separate temporary shelter we have set up, before entering Providence Emergency Shelter.
All of these changes have been made while severely limiting the number of volunteers on campus. At one point, all volunteering was completely put on hold. Now, we are running with a third of our normal volunteers.
And it’s been tiring, for both staff and guests. We have had times where many staff were working remotely due to their own health risks. Other times where staff or guests have been quarantined due to exposures. But even with all of the schedule changes, increased overtime, and cross-shift working, our team has done an amazing job persevering through all of the challenges.
What to Expect This Winter Typically we have over 200 total guests on campus, over 100 in our Residential Programs over and 100 in our Emergency Shelters. Although our Residential capacity remains about the same, we have had to reduce the available beds in Providence Shelter to ensure safe spacing overnight from about 75 to 55.
Winter always presents its own challenges, so we anticipate this year will be no different. Women in our Providence Shelter have moved over to the shelter at St. Mary’s across the street, run by the Lancaster Food Hub. During their stay there they have full access to all of our services, including showers, food and staff support. Not only does having women shift to St. Mary’s enable us to free up additional beds for men, it will help us keep the shelter populations separate and limit the risk of spread.
Thank You We have been so encouraged by the support we have received this year. Without a community coming around us and our guests, we would not be able to keep our guests safe and continue to guide them in their restoration journeys. We truly couldn’t do what we do without you.