For some it may be bragging rights to making the best bowl of chili, but for the Bucks County Emergency Homeless Shelter, the $6,000 donation from Marie’s Kozy Korner’s sixth annual chili cookoff means so much more.
During Monday night’s Falls Supervisors meeting, the owners of Marie’s Kozy Korner presented Murielle Kelly with a check from the recent fundraising event, held at the neighborhood bar. Each year proceeds from the contest are donated to the shelter, the only family shelter in Bucks County.
“It’s dear to us,” said Jason Lawson, Falls Township Public Works Director, and husband of Nancy Lawson, who co-owns the bar with her mother, Marie Krotz. “We really don’t want to see anyone struggle, especially the kids.”
Each year the shelter houses more than 300 families, according to Kelly, who serves as the center’s director of housing services. Since COVID the need for housing has grown exponentially, she said.
Before the pandemic, the center averaged between 30 and 75 people waiting for emergency housing. However, during the last two years, there have been more than 200 people waiting for services.
“It can take six months to get into the shelter,” she said.
The shelter also operates a housing link help line, which has seen an increase of more than 1,000 calls. Staff are answering 4,500 calls from people experiencing a housing crisis.
How you can help
Through Dec. 11 Marie’s Kozy Korner is collecting gift items to be donated to the shelter. For more information, click here: https://marieskozykorner.com/. In addition to gifts, the shelter is always in need of linens, comforters, pillows, sheets, towels, bottled water and laundry detergent.