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- a warm bed on a cold night.
In November of 2011, the Dubuque Rescue Mission issued a cry for help. As the weather grew cold, more men arrived nightly than there were beds available. Could one of the downtown churches possibly help?
St. John’s Lutheran Church, a small congregation with a sizable building, answered that call.
"The Guest House at St. John’s" officially opened on December 2, 2011. What was anticipated to be only a couple of beds every week or so became 450 beds provided by April 6, 2012. When fire codes threatened the permanent closure of St. John’s, the community rallied to provide financial assistance, materials and labor to ensure the Guest House would again open its doors. With the updates complete, the Guest House officially reopened on January 21, 2013 and sheltered five men that same night. By May 1, 2013, the Guest House had provided over 250 beds.
Following on this success, the Guest House at St. John’s is currently planning for its future and how it may serve other under met needs for shelter in Dubuque, including the possibility of sheltering men with children and entire families.
St. John’s Lutheran Church, led by Pastor Jay Ilten, is not a wealthy church but has nevertheless made a conscious decision to "bloom where (they) are planted" and serve the needs of the people in downtown Dubuque.
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