Hope for the Homeless unites Churches to Provide Winter Shelter

Pastor Rick Haynes, head of security for the rotating shelter program run by the Harford County Hope for the Homeless Alliance, talks with guest Carolyn Castello Wednesday at this week's shelter at St. Matthew Lutheran Church in Bel Air. (Image: The Baltimore Sun/David Anderson)

“Pastor Rick Haynes, head of security for the rotating shelter program run by the Harford County Hope for the Homeless Alliance, talks with guest Carolyn Castello Wednesday at this week’s shelter at St. Matthew Lutheran Church in Bel Air.” (Source: The Baltimore Sun/David Anderson)

Weather in Maryland is uncharacteristically warm at the moment, but what happens when temperatures drop again? Homelessness in Baltimore and the surrounding areas can quickly turn fatal in the winter months, as we addressed in last week’s blog “Winter Homelessness in Baltimore: The Issue with Code Blue.” My Brother’s Keeper is happy to share that Hope for the Homeless has reinstituted a rotating shelter program to address the need for emergency housing in the nearby Harford County this season.

Local Churches Unite to Provide “Rotating Shelter” for Homeless Community

According to a recent report published by The Baltimore Sun, “Fourteen churches throughout Harford County are hosting homeless men and women each night during the winter months through a ‘rotating shelter’ program, in which a different church serves as a shelter each week.”

The first church shelter opened on Monday at St. Matthew Lutheran Church in Bel Air, and each church will host the shelter for seven days (Monday PM to the following Monday AM). Guests from the homeless community will receive daily meals, cots with clean bedding to sleep on, and boxes to temporarily store their personal items.

Participating Churches and Homeless Requirements

To ensure the safety of the volunteers and fellow members of the homeless community, each guest must undergo a criminal background screening and security check upon arrival. Drugs and alcohol are not permitted, and those under the influence will be denied. Transportation in Edgewood is provided for new guests from the Community Action Agency, while returning guests can be picked up at New Hope Christian Fellowship. Each church will accommodate 15 to 20 people, with a potential for second sites opening on frigid nights. According to The Baltimore Sun, the churches involved in this program are as follows:

  • Presbury United Methodist
  • Mt. Zion United Methodist Church in Bel Air
  • St. Matthew Lutheran Church in Bel Air
  • Joppatowne Christian Church
  • New Hope Baptist Church in Bel Air
  • Havre de Grace United Methodist Church
  • William Watters Memorial United Methodist Church in Jarrettsville
  • Lord of Life Lutheran Church in Edgewood
  • Fruitful Living Christian Center Church in Edgewood
  • Centre United Methodist Church in Forest Hill
  • St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Aberdeen
  • Norrisville United Methodist Church
  • Ebenezer United Methodist Church in Fallston
  • Salem United Methodist Church near Kingsville

Click here to read The Baltimore Sun’s full report and find out how you can help.

Talk to My Brother’s Keeper About Helping the Homeless

At My Brother’s Keeper, we know the importance of helping our homeless brothers and sisters. That is why we work closely with Project PLASE to help serve the needs of the Baltimore homeless community. To learn more about how to help or to find out more about our services including addiction treatment referrals, prescription assistance, hot meal programs, employment assistance, health services and identifying possible emergency shelter, call MBK today at 410-644-3194.

You can also follow our official MBK page on Google+, Pinterest, Twitter, and Facebook, to stay up to date on our center’s progress and upcoming events in the community.


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