What do you do on Friday night? Dinner out? A movie? Snooze on the couch? All fine things, well deserved after a long week.

At St. John Lutheran Church, though, for 15 years Friday evening has meant hosting the PADS shelter for people without homes. During the colder months nearly 50 people – women, children, men – find their way to St. John’s for dinner, and the next morning breakfast, for a shower, for a warm bedroll in a crowded gymnasium. But Dale Nowicki, a Brookfield man and the site captain for the St. John’s PADS once each month, believes guests come for what he describes as a “peaceful disconnection” from the hard reality of being homeless while out in the world to being safe and well-regarded inside St. John’s.

St. John’s does not work alone. Food preparation is handled by volunteers from a Catholic Church in Riverside. The PADS organization is first rate and offers services broader than simply overnight shelters, all aimed at solving the issues which led a person to being without a home.

For that we offer our thanks and our gratitude. In these still hard times, it is easier for many of us to see the thin line that separates making the mortgage for another month from slipping into being without a front door to lock.