Cold is the enemy of the homeless

Posted Online: Jan. 23, 2013, 1:40 am
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By Kelly Steiner,
Imagine not having a home and wondering where you'll sleep on a cold winter night. Where will you go if all the shelters are filled? Imagine wondering if you'll eat that day.

Those are realities many Quad-Citians face every day.

King's Harvest Ministries, 824 3rd St., Davenport, feeds about 150 people each meal, but sometimes has as many as 360. Not all are homeless, but some come back at night to sleep there.

King's Harvest takes in people who can't be accommodated at other shelters.

Nate Johnson said he's been staying there for two years and likes that "they don't have a limit on how long you can stay."

On Jan. 3, 36 people stayed at the shelter. They can come in to claim a bed from 9 to 10 p.m., then it's lights out until 7 a.m. when everyone must leave.

"They are just normal, everyday people going through a hard time," King's Harvest director Terri Gleize said.

"Cold is definitely the enemy of someone who has to stay out," shelter coordinator Chris Dunn said. "We're a little surprised we're not more full."

Derek Watts, of Davenport, has been volunteering at the shelter for a year and also works there part time. "I love helping others who are in need," he said. "I never knew people suffer like this. You have to see it with your own eyes."

The people are great," said Penny Clausen, who lives with her disabled brother in Davenport, but comes to the shelter to eat and for food for her dog."I'm really grateful for the dog food program."

King's Harvest gives dog food to people who can't afford to feed their dogs. After Ms. Clausen's mother died, she said she couldn't afford food for her dog and sometimes for herself.

She said it was hard to swallow her pride and come in for a meal the first time. "The first time I came in here, I thought I'd get soup and a sandwich," so she was surprised by the homemade dinners with nutritious food and dessert.

"If you go hungry in this town, it's your own fault," said Terry Waugh, of Davenport, who regularly goes to King's Harvest for meals, walking 17 blocks and down a sometimes icy hill to get there.

Just down the street, the Salvation Army Family Service Center at 301 W. 5th St., also serves those in need. In 2012, it provided emergency shelter to 362 people, 221 of them children.

The Family Service Center accepts single parents, families, pregnant mothers and children. Adults who stay there must set goals, such as getting a job, working toward a GED and moving to permanent housing.

At any one time, about 100 people are in the center's 90-day program to get back on their feet.

Emergency shelter director Kelle Tappendorf said she had more than 30 inquiries from people needing a place to stay after she returned from a five-day break over the holidays.

Holly Nomura, development director of the Salvation Army, said they try to get people in right away, but if they're full, they may have to wait for an opening.

Lisa Radetzki, who lives there with her 4-year-old son, was a CNA and retail manager before she needed surgery two years ago. She has been filling out applications since she was released to go back to work in July.

"I have the qualifications, but I just can't find a job," she said, adding she plans to get re-certified as a CNA or pursue further training in the medical field.

She said some people have called her lazy and white trash because she lives in a shelter. "They don't know everybody's situation. I was far from being a drug addict or an alcoholic or anything."

Shelters always are looking for volunteers and donations. To donate to the Salvation Army, visit or visit the shelter at 301 W. 5th St., Davenport.

King's Harvest also needs volunteers and donations, including socks and boots to help people outside in the cold avoid frostbite.For more information, call Chris Dunn at (309) 798-3776.

To make a monetary donation, go online to and use PayPal, or send checks to King's Harvest Ministries, 5837 Wisconsin Ave., Davenport, IA 52806.

Other local homeless shelters include:
- Winnie's Place, operated by Churches United. For more information, call (563) 332-5002 or (309)764-9466.

- Humility of Mary Shelter, 1016 W. 5th St., Davenport, (563) 322-8065.

- Christian Care Rescue Mission, 2209 3rd Ave., Rock Island, (309) 786-5734.


Local events heading

  Today is Wednesday, April 23, the 113th day of 2014. There are 252 days left in the year.

1864 — 150 years ago: Some persons are negotiating for 80 feet of ground on Illinois Street with a view of erecting four stores thereon. It would serve a better purpose if the money was invested in neat tenement houses.
1889 — 125 years ago: The Central station, car house and stables of the Moline-Rock Island Horse Railway line of the Holmes syndicate, together with 15 cars and 42 head of horses, were destroyed by fire. The loss was at $15,000.
1914 — 100 years ago: Vera Cruz, Mexico, after a day and night of resistance to American forces, gradually ceased opposition. The American forces took complete control of the city.
1939 — 75 years ago: Dr. R. Bruce Collins was reelected for a second term as president of the Lower Rock Island County Tuberculosis Association.
1964 — 50 years ago: Work is scheduled to begin this summer on construction of a new men's residence complex and an addition to the dining facilities at Westerlin Hall at Augustana College.
1989 — 25 years ago: Special Olympics competitors were triple winners at Rock Island High School Saturday. The participants vanquished the rain that fell during the competition, and some won their events; but most important, they triumphed over their own disabilities.

(More History)