Facing a cold-weather crisis, together

It took a team to make it happen.

With local resources stretched thin for people living outside in freezing temperatures, SPiN Café stepped up along with Island County Human Services, The Haven, supportive churches, and individual community members to keep guests safe and warm. A Whidbey News Times article featured words from our own Michele Chapman, SPiN Executive Director. Take a look right here:

Chapman: grateful for teamwork.

Michele shared recently that a few of the people SPiN serves suffer from extreme anxiety and other mental issues, and are uncomfortable indoors with others. These citizens regularly refuse the warm refuge and meals we offer, even when it’s deadly cold outside. SPiN staff and volunteers had to make an extra effort to seek them out and convince them to come inside and get warm.

In a poignant scene, one volunteer described helping a man get the icicles from his hair and beard when she finally convinced him to come in for some coffee.

Michele was extra grateful for the individual community members who stepped up to help. St. Stephens Episcopal Church allowed SPiN to use its parish hall around the clock, with volunteers from the congregation assisting wherever they could. “Many people in the community,” Michele said, “heard about SPiN staying open and brought in food, blankets, socks and a variety of other things.”

Kindness, evidently, is still contagious. We are constantly amazed and grateful when the community comes forward to help our most vulnerable neighbors here on Whidbey Island. In a crisis, they stepped up once again.

A little warmth on a cold winter day. Get your sign at SPiN or the Oak Harbor Chamber.