Although most of the offices and businesses in Kodiak will be closed Saturday, not everyone stops working. Police and state troopers respond to calls, doctors still treat injuries and, if you’re in need of shelter or a warm meal, Scott Hoy at the Brother Francis Shelter will help.
Hoy does a little bit of everything at Brother Francis Shelter. He cooks, takes care of inventory, helps with the rental relief and homeless prevention programs, picks up the occasional night shift and, every year, he works on Christmas.
“I don’t want to say it’s another day, but it is another day. It’s a different day,” Hoy said. “The people that need our services never go away, so it’s another day of serving them guys just a little bit more.”
Hoy, who lives on the shelter property, will start his day at 8:30 a.m. Hoy, his coworker Jim Carey, and Hoy’s dog, Homer, will hold down the fort during the restful day, he said.
Hoy expects there to be around 10 people at the shelter Saturday. Usually, there is more, but since the pandemic started, the number of people who frequent the shelter has dropped, according to Hoy. Whoever is there will be able to sleep in and stay inside for most of the day. At 5 p.m., people will have to leave for a few hours so the shelter can be cleaned, but it will open up a few hours later. There will also be a holiday meal with ham, turkey, gravy, pies and more, according to Hoy.
“It’s really quiet for the most part,” Hoy said. “Most of the guys take advantage of a nice day inside to stay warm and relax. It’s just a day for them to not have to hit the streets in the morning.”
Working on Christmas is gratifying to Hoy. As he has gotten older, his outlook on Christmas has changed, he said. He has family that he likes to see, but he’d rather spend his Christmas with the people at the shelter, he said.
“It’s a day where we can do a little extra for the fellows,” Hoy said. “In that regard, I appreciate being able to do that.”
Hoy came to Kodiak from Washington during the recession to find work at the seafood processors, and after the season ended, he decided to stick around, he said. He worked odd jobs around town, before finding his way to Brother Francis Shelter in November 2009. He’s grown with the organization and adapted to its needs, he said. One thing that the organization needs is for people to be in the shelter on Christmas and he has no problem filling that position.
“It just seems like the right thing to do,” Hoy said. “No big philosophical thing or reason, it’s the right thing to do.”