Winter shelter, HART. Luke Otterstad, photo credit

Rotating winter shelter for homeless off to a busy start in Citrus Heights

By Thomas J. Sullivan–
Volunteers at Celtic Cross Presbyterian Church in Citrus Heights welcomed a break from days of heavy rain this week as they closed out a busy seven-day “Winter Sanctuary” event on Saturday, having offered a hot dinner and a warm place to sleep for an average of two-dozen homeless individuals each evening.

“It’s a ministry of presence,” said Jan Souza, church coordinator for the annual volunteer program. “We’re here to help, to listen and to offer spiritual support to them in any way we can.”

The Winter Sanctuary is an annual event for the Celtic Cross Church community, at 5839 Dewey Drive, which began its participation in the program three years ago. Coordinated by the nonprofit Citrus Heights Homeless Assistance Resource Team, area churches take weekly turns over a two-month period to offer a rotating shelter for the homeless during the coldest and wettest months of the year.

Church volunteers received training from Citrus Heights HART staff members and worked four-hour shifts over…

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