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What is the Maureen’s Haven Emergency Winter Shelter Program?

Every evening during the colder months, November 1st through April 30th, homeless guests are safely screened and transported from our Riverhead location to host sites throughout the east end. Guests are asked to be at Maureen’s Haven (28 Lincoln Street in Riverhead) by 4:30 pm, and our vans leave promptly at 5:30 pm.

Screening of guests consists of a breathalyzer test, a physical check of the person and his or her baggage, and visual monitoring of the guest’s behavior. This helps to ensure the health and safety of both our guests and our volunteers.

Emergency Winter Shelter Program

Upon arrival at the host site, the homeless guests are welcomed and registered by church volunteers. Guests then proceed to the sleeping areas to claim their beds and put down their personal belongings.

homeless outreach meal prep

Volunteers prepare a nutritious, hot dinner for both the guests and themselves, and are ready to serve 30 to 50* people by 7:00 pm. Everyone sits down together for dinner and shares in this opportunity for fellowship.

After dinner, guests are given the opportunity to get some well-deserved rest or they can take advantage of the services and activities offered. These include:

  • AA Meeting*
  • Access to a hot shower*
  • Warm clothes
  • Consultation with a medical professional or licensed social worker*
  • Board games
  • English (ESL) class*
  • Movies

Volunteers (Innkeepers) stay to monitor the guests overnight and ensure their well-being. At daybreak (5:00 am) a breakfast crew arrives to prepare and serve a substantial, hearty morning meal. In addition, a bagged lunch is prepared for each guest to take with them upon departure.

The volunteer cleanup crew begins to break down the beds and collect the bedding and towels for laundering at 6:30 am. During this time, the floors are swept and disinfected, all bathrooms are sanitized, and the kitchen is thoroughly cleaned.

After finishing breakfast and gathering their belongings, the guests board our vans to leave at 7:00 am and are transported back to the Kay Kidde Achievement Center in Riverhead.

*Capacity and amenities vary among the participating houses of worship