The line in front of Brother Francis Shelter grows longer as the days grow shorter.
"They just told me we're out of toilet paper, so I have to make a dash for Costco tonight," said Deputy Director Mary Beth Bragiel.
That’s just one of many challenges facing Catholic Social Services. Brother Francis can normally accommodate 240 people, but they've been using the overflow shelter for about a week.
"The sheer number of people in one space, communal living, it's very difficult,” said Bragiel. “When you add that many people and some of the other factors, alcohol, drugs, mental health issues, it’s very taxing on the staff.”
Just across the parking lot, Beans Cafe is experiencing the same issues: a decrease in donations and an increase in need.
Beans is appealing to the more fortunate residents of the community, with its third annual "Pour" fundraiser Friday, also benefiting Children's Lunch Box.
"We're looking at an increase of about 20 to 30 percent in the amount of individuals, with the cold weather and what we believe will be another tough winter,” said Beans Director of Development Ken Miller.
Miller defends the lavish fundraiser, featuring a wine tasting bar and silent auction against a backdrop of homelessness across town.
“We'll provide over a half million meals at Beans Cafe Incorporated, between the programs at the Children's Lunch Box and Beans Café,” adds Miller. “We're proud to do that and the only way we can do that is raising funds in different methods and reaching out to different people."
Contact Adam Pinsker