COLD WEATHER SHELTHER
Our COVID-19 Response: The health and well-being of our Guests and Volunteers is our top priority, so we are taking additional steps in our Shelter to follow CDC guidelines for shelters wherever possible, including requiring masks, social distancing, additional safety and clearing steps, and a lower-contact volunteering options.
Project 10❤️20 provides shelter, support, and compassion to all adults experiencing homelessness while helping them utilize community resources to achieve their goals.
"We make a living by what we get,
but we MAKE A LIFE by what we GIVE"
Project 10❤️20 started out small, but with big hearts! Two concerned citizens, Barb McEver and Dean Askeland, were seeing that homelessness was growing in Johnson County – said to be one of the richest counties in Kansas – but learned there were no shelters here for adults without minor children.
They decided to see what they could do to help, so in 2015 they bought 10 cots and other supplies and found Redemption Church, in Olathe, for space to operate a cold weather shelter. Whenever the temperature was forecast to be 20 degrees or colder, the shelter was open from 9 PM to 7 AM. The first winter, Project 10❤️20 provided shelter to about 6-7 people on those coldest of nights.
Due to the growing need, Project 10❤️20 relocated in 2016 to Neema Community Church, also in Olathe, with more space to begin serving an evening meal, brought in by volunteers. We expanded the hours to 7 PM to 8 AM and added transportation to and from the shelter and to work in the morning for those who had jobs.
In 2017, we provided shelter to an average of 20 people per night – 31 on one night – to 79 different individuals. Our involvement revealed even more about the needs of Johnson County homeless adults, so we began providing referrals to services year-round to try to help them find their way out of homelessness.
Project 10❤️20 grew in 2018 to hosting guests every night from December 1 through March 31, removing the 20 degree threshold. When the plans for a permanent, stand-alone shelter at a building in Olathe were stalled, Branches Church graciously stepped in to offer their building in 2018-2019. In that season, Project 10❤️20 served up to 49 people per night, 240 different people and over 5500 meals.
Shawnee Mission Unitarian Universalist Church offered their space and support working with the City of Lenexa for our 2019-20 season, and again this season, 2020-2021.
The work continues and as a 100% volunteer, 100% donation-supported organization, we hope you’ll help us meet the growing need!
Dean passed away June 2019. I miss my dear friend and buddy of 18 years, and I'm so happy to continue the mission we started together. Barb