a special message from the director of
Upper Room of Erie, a homeless shelter

Challenges of a Record Year

About four years ago we took on the challenge of partnering with the Mental Healthg Assn. to provide a warm place to be during Erie's sub- twenty five degree temperatures. You've probably seen this mentioned in several recent items in the Times and TV news coverage. Our task includes being open an extra six hours per day, more coffee, more floor mopping, more of everything. At present we have we have about nine volunteers to provide the hospitality and security needed.

So, many of us are doing extra duty, a few putting in as much as fourteen hours a day. For Ron and Allen, that means many consecutive days on duty, working a full day and then coming back to open the doors at 5 PM for more. As of this writing we have been open a total of sixty-two days like this... a new record for us, and it's not over yet.

Ron Cooley and Allen Lomax

Ronnie Cooley and Allen Lomax

So, I present for your recognition the two people who work the longest hours: Ronnie Cooley and Allen Lomax. They deserve much more than the Upper Room can give them. When the rest of us are settled into a comfortable bed or chair for the cold winter nights, they are providing the fresh coffee, the clean bathroom, and the friendly face behind the desk.

It is working with so many people like this that inclines me to think of my own years of service as a personal gift rather than a burden. And I would never have received this gift without the financial support of the generous people of Erie. Thank you.

Tom Schlaudecker
Feb 25, 2014

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