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Buck up Bucks County: Local Shelter Needs Help for Bathroom Renovations

October 24, 2014 | Bucks County Courier Times

Imagine having to wait in line to bathe your infant, or even worse, being forced to wait until the next day because the line for the bathroom is too long.

This is the reality families face daily at the Bucks County Emergency Homeless Shelter in Bristol Township.

“We only have two, actually, bathtubs on the women’s side of the dorm,” shelter coordinator Kari Howatt said. “At any given time, we have 25 to 30 children under the age of 18 living at the shelter, so you can imagine a mother with an infant needing to bathe her children and she either has to wait for a bathtub or she just doesn’t get to bathe her child that night.”

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Buck Up Bucks County: Advocates Need New Bus for Looming Code Blue Season

October 23, 2014 | Bucks County Courier Times

The first winter she lived in her car was the scariest experience of her life, Kim said.

“I had no one to talk to. I’m in a frozen car. I have all these blankets, and then the snow kept covering my car,” the 59-year-old Bucks County woman said. “At one point, I thought I was going to die because I woke up and the whole car was covered.”

That was eight winters ago — well before Bucks County enacted its Code Blue emergency shelter program in 2009.

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Current Bus for Bucks’ Needy Not Wheelchair Accessible

October 19, 2014 | Bucks County Courier Times

Her hard life travels on rutted roads. Along the berm are challenging signs: depression, asthma, low blood pressure, high cholesterol and three degenerative discs. She’s been in a wheelchair for 15 years, and over the past 14, has undergone an unfathomable 20 surgeries on her right leg, including two knee replacements and the removal of all of her toes due to diabetes.

This woman has been beset by one life-altering event after another on this hard road from which there seems to be no exit.

 

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Bucks County Shelter Bus Changes Lives, One Ride at a Time

October 17, 2014 | Bucks County Courier Times

Delilah has collected a lot of miles in her 12 years on the road.

That’s no surprise, since the old gal shuttles dozens of Lower Bucks people who are homeless and otherwise in need to shared meals most nights. During the winter, the 13-seat passenger van can make two or three trips every night.

And once a month, the vehicle named Delilah by the folks who rely on it, picks up a dozen or more for a shower, haircut and lunch. For people like Jeff — a 56-year-old Bucks native who calls the woods of Bristol Township home — this monthly “rejuvenation station” visit is a chance for a fresh start.

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Buck Up Bucks County: Dinner for 70

October 16, 2014 | Bucks County Courier Times

Residents of the Bucks County Emergency Homeless Shelter will sometimes ask kitchen manager Jim Kolowajtis to whip up something they like, such as potato salad. Whether shelter clients see that on their plates depends on whether someone has donated the potatoes, mayonnaise and other ingredients.

But Kolowajtis, who prepares three meals and a daily snack for about 70 people, is adept at making use of what’s on the shelves. “If I have it, I’ll make it,” he said.

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The Path to Somewhere

October 12, 2014 | Bucks County Courier Times

The trail quickly morphs from weathered gravel into beaten dirt and grass, a gateway deep into the woods somewhere in Bristol Township on this mild October morning. The path is bracketed by willowy trees, whose branches bend gently to greet you, and sunlight winks through their leaves quivering in the breeze. The footing is as uneven and uncertain as the lives of the needy folks who reside in its shadow.

There’s a clearing up ahead, then a right turn, and there it is. From this perch on the path to nowhere, one peeks through figurative blinds to see where homelessness hides from the world.

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Newtown Financial Adviser Issues Buck Up Bucks Challenge

October 10, 2014 | Bucks County Courier Times

Newtown financial adviser Anthony Petsis is once again challenging fellow business owners to step up to help the homeless in Bucks County.

Petsis said he’ll match up to $250 in donations that are dropped into the Buck Up Bucks County canister at his offices on State Street.

The Buck Up Bucks County fundraiser aims to raise $200,000 to buy a new bus for Advocates for Homeless & Those in Need and to renovate bathrooms at the Bucks County Emergency Homeless Shelter.

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Wheels on the Bus … Need More Volunteers

October 10, 2014 | Bucks County Courier Times

As the needs of the homeless increase, so does the demand for volunteers to help them.

Advocates for Homeless & Those in Need needs people to help with its mission of feeding and sometimes sheltering those who live on the street.

Right now, the interfaith nonprofit organization needs help with its Wheels to Meals and Code Blue programs.

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Where to Make Buck Up Bucks Donations and Send Your Photos

October 09, 2014 | Bucks County Courier Times

Show us your bucks.

Email a photo of you, your spouse, kids, friends or pets with your donation to buckup@calkins.com. The pictures can be serious or cute, topical (Halloween or Eagles-themed, for example) or funny. Include the name and town if you’d like that to be printed.

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Bucks Shelter Volunteers Give the Gift of Time and Compassion — How About You?

October 09, 2014 | The Intelligencer

Rich Hart doesn’t like to take much credit for his longtime volunteer work at the Bucks County Emergency Homeless Shelter.

Uncomfortable in the limelight, he’d rather talk about what the shelter gives back to him.

“I don’t think about myself here,” said the 65-year-old Tullytown resident, who does everything from stocking shelves to delivering donations to the shelter at 7301 New Falls Road in Bristol Township. “This is a rewarding way to fill your time — giving back.”

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