By Jenika Burden
What we now know as Safe Harbor began in 2003 when a man experiencing homelessness died of exposure on the old state hospital grounds. That winter, The First Church of the Nazarene opened their doors to offer overnight shelter, and stayed open for 45 straight nights, housing as many as 26 people per night.
The following year, Grace Episcopal, and several other local churches, began a rotation of “host weeks”, functioning as a temporary emergency shelter. Safe Harbor quickly became an organized program among the local churches with a mission to offer love to the homeless through emergency shelter, meals, and encouragement to move forward in a positive direction in their lives.
Since the inception of Safe Harbor the need has only grown. However, our volunteers always manage to provide, and Grace has- sometimes creatively- found room for the guests that need warmth throughout the coldest nights of the year. In addition to the two staff members from the Goodwill, 100 volunteers are needed to run Safe Harbor at Grace.
Our guests arrive each evening at 6PM relieved to find a warm meal served by smiling faces, and a safe place to rest for the night. We are blessed to offer that only because we can rely on our volunteers here at Grace.
Volunteering might not be what you imagine: face-to-face or dipping a ladle into a pot. It could be baking, carrying a box, moving furniture, grocery shopping, or donating. Please consider how you’d like to help, for whatever reason you’re passionate about.
“I assure you, when you did it for one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it for me.” Matthew 25:40
Safe Harbor at Grace: Saturday, December 2 – Saturday, December 9
*Additional need for overnight volunteers.
Signup online: http://vols.pt/X8STvG
or use the signup-boards in the commons.
Questions: firstname.lastname@example.org or 231-947-2330