Staying in a cold shelter in Chambersburg, PA

Last night, we stayed at a cold shelter in Chambersburg after an easy 50 mile ride from Harrisburg. A cold shelter is a homeless shelter for winter and early spring months, typically December through April. Though the place was a bit more unkempt than a typical church we might stay in (I found broken glass in the shower yesterday), we were fortunate to have beds–the first time any of us have slept in a bed in about two weeks.
The cold shelter is run closely by the local ministry and is managed by a man named Craig, who told us about his switch from working with corporate at Pepsi to helping his mom, the founder of the ministry, to create and maintain the shelter, is planning to construct a six-story shelter that is capable of housing 300 people.  The new shelter is to run entirely on private funds raised by churches and pastors around the country and is to be powered by clean wind energy.  Craig also thought to incorporate nondenominational faith by allowing any local church to hold sermon there as long as they donate to the shelter. 
Craig and his helper, John–an ex-heroin addict sober two years–were so kind as to take us to the local fair, which was awesome. I’d never been to a real fair before, and there was basically everything I imagined there would be: ferris wheel, funnel cakes, the works.  There was even a lottery where you could win Costco sized packs of junk food, and that was pretty weird.  The atmosphere there was strange because it was, to put it frankly, a lot of rednecks (so almost entirely white people), a lot of really young mothers and a lot of obese people.  Chambersburg itself has a 19% poverty rate among families (check that statistic, I might have gotten it wrong) and an AMI (Average Median Income) in the low $30,000’s. The entire experience was pretty interesting, but Craig and his staff could not have been more hospitable towards us.


Eating, as always


Homeless shelter problems


Somehow we came upon a pair of zebras on our ride


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