IRWS: A New Name and Expanding Role in Homeless Services

The Interfaith Rotating Winter Shelter of Davis is now HEART (Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rehousing Team) of Davis!
by Sarah Danley, Program Manager

The new name reflects the expanding role of HEART in providing homeless services in Davis while still reflecting the values of community, respect, and compassion that IRWS provided for 13 years while operating the rotating winter shelter. HEART of Davis provides a warm, safe, non-judgmental environment for people experiencing homelessness, providing them with the support they need to achieve their goals.

HEART of Davis currently operates the Davis Emergency Shelter Program (DESP) which shelters approximately 40 individuals in 25 apartments. The program provides food, shelter, utilities, internet, and full wraparound services such as linkages to housing, social services, medical care, and mental health services. A primary objective of the program is to shelter people living in homelessness who are most vulnerable to COVID due to age or underlying health conditions. The program uses Housing First and Harm Reduction principles to ensure that best practices are used to create the most welcoming and effective homeless services provision. Our partners in this program include CommuniCare Health Centers, the City of Davis, and Davis Opportunity Village (DOVe).

The heart of the program is the amazing staff and the support of the Davis community. To everyone who has supported IRWS through the years and continues to support HEART of Davis, we thank you. We could not do this work without you!

Volunteer/Donation Opportunities
by Dylan Davis, Program Coordinator

At DESP we work hard to provide our residents with all the services and items they need to move towards self-sufficiency, but we wouldn’t be able to do it without the generosity of the community and people like you. There are a few items and services that would greatly benefit our residents if you are able to provide them.

If you see items on the following list that are not getting used we would love to find them a new home that would appreciate them (gently used items are fine with the exceptions of socks). The following items have been requested or are frequent necessities.

~ Socks are always appreciated. Many residents are on their feet for work or travel and having clean and whole socks goes a long way towards improving moods and making those wearing them more comfortable.

~ Collared shirts and blouses that can be worn to interviews and to nicer occasions. We currently have t-shirts and other coats for residents, but giving them an outfit or two to dress up in can help secure employment.

~ If you don’t have any of these items but would still like to donate something to the community, the Respite Center located at 530 L Street in Davis will gladly take $5-$25 Gift Cards to places that sell warm meals (examples include Chipotle, McDonalds, etc). Those on the street may be able to get food items such as sandwiches and pastries from various shelters, but a hot meal is often more filling and satisfying, especially in cold months. The Respite Center is open 7:30AM-4PM Monday-Friday and 7:30AM-3:30PM on Saturday’s.

~ If you have bottles of water that you would like to donate, please look for those in your neighborhood that are less fortunate and give to them.

~ If you would like to donate your time (and possibly your truck or vehicle with room to move furniture), we also have a few volunteer opportunities available. As residents find permanent housing, many do not have ways to move pieces of furniture or other household items into their new living spaces. If you have a vehicle that can transport these items, or if you are available to load up and/or unpack, please email to let us know.

We appreciate the support of the community and hope to keep working and serving into the future.

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