By JUDD WEIL
Hutchinson, Kan. – New Beginnings’ Noel Lodge Emergency Housing is a light for many experiencing homelessness in the Hutchinson community.
“Noel stands for “New Beginnings Overnight Emergency Lodge,” and it was created at Christmas time as a way in which people could give to something that they believe in and make a gift for Christmas,” New Beginnings President and CEO, Shara Gonzales said. “It was a group of churches that started it.”
Noel Lodge began providing services in 2013.
“Up until that time we had had transitional shelter, which is longer term,” Gonzales explained. “But because it was taking so long, people were backlogged, and so the churches wanted to have an overnight emergency shelter.
A building, located at 400 W. 2nd Avenue, Suite C, owned by New Beginnings was remodeled to create Noel Lodge.
“Noel Lodge opens at four-o'clock in the afternoon, and closes at seven in the morning as it is a federally-designated shelter,” Gonzales said. “And like I said, it’s the backup to our transitional shelter.”
According to Gonzales, emergency shelter is 30 days and is overnight shelter.
Noel Lodge hosts 22 available beds, made up of men's dorms, women's dorms, and family rooms, and operates on a first-come and first serve basis.
“However, that does not mean it will every night hold twenty-two people,” Gonzales said. “I have to explain this, because it depends on the makeup. For example, sometimes we’ve had no women, but we’ve had a lot of single men, so we’ve used both dorms for the gentlemen.”
Noel Lodge can be reached at (620) 259-7769 and is located at 400 W. 2nd Avenue, Suite C. More information about New Beginnings and their other services can be found at their website or Facebook page.