Burien’s Severe Weather Shelter exceeded capacity every night over the last week as the snow, ice, and cold “continued far longer than expected.”

“Our hearts were heavy after an unhoused neighbor was badly burned trying to keep warm with a fire inside his tent prior to opening,” organizers said. “What got us through this difficult time was all of you. You inspired us with the gifts of time, food, warm coats, and financial support. You showed up for our community in a way that lifted our spirits and helped us all get through a difficult time. Thank you, from the bottom of our hearts.”

But despite it being March – with spring starting Mar. 20 – the cold may not be over yet.

Volunteers, Donations needed

“Looking ahead, it’s very likely that we’ll be re-opening for the 7th time next week. In hopes of making it easier for you all to plan ahead, we’ve added volunteer shifts starting Sunday night- please consider these tentative until we confirm if and when we will be open.”

Organizers know for sure that they will need 4-5 volunteers this Thursday, Mar. 2, 2023 to help reset the Highline United Methodist Church for events, so if you have availability to help with that, please use the sign up to confirm.

“We’ll also need to stock our shelves with the most critical items – we do not yet have donation drop-off windows confirmed, so we’ll add everything to the sign up as soon as possible, but we hope that by sharing the list further in advance we’ll make it easier for you to plan.”

If you can donate, below are the shelter’s current needs:

  • Handwarmers
  • Warm coats, gloves, and winter boots 
  • Sweat pants & sweatshirts (we are hoping to move away from sized clothing items, and stock only the most flexible & critically needed items)
  • Small travel size toothpaste, lotion, deodorant, combs, and rinse-less body/bathing wipes in small packets. 
  • Blankets up to Twin size
  • Cookies and snack foods
  • Throat spray
  • Cocoa packets (individual)
  • Apple sauce (individual cups)
  • Nutrigrain (cereal bars)
  • Pudding cups
  • Garbage bags (large black 40-50 gallon size)
  • Cup of Noodles (the “just add water” type)
  • Bottled water
  • Coffee creamer (individual cups)
  • Cold cereal – sugary & “healthy” varieties 
  • A few bags or boxes of kitty litter 

“We are endlessly grateful to all of you for showing up, providing supplies & support, or even just helping us spread the word about the shelter’s needs. None of us could do this alone, but together we make it possible for our unhoused neighbors to have a safe place to rest & a good meal during extreme weather events. If you’d like to reach out to talk about volunteering or have any questions at all, now is a great time to contact us via email shelter.highlineumc@gmail.com.

“We will be in touch to confirm the donation drop-off windows and volunteer shifts for next week. Until then, we hope you all rest & recharge, and know that we are so thankful to have you as part of the Burien Severe Weather Shelter community.”

Thank you, 
Burien Severe Weather Shelter Team 

To donate or volunteer, click here.

More info is also available here: https://www.facebook.com/BurienSWS

The Burien Severe Weather Shelter is located at Highline United Methodist Church at 13015 1st Ave S., Burien, WA 98168:

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