It’s a dilemma: how do we provide hospitality at our church for families experiencing homelessness during a pandemic? One of the ways our church is involved in our community during “normal times” is to participate with the United Ministries IHN program in providing temporary shelter for these families in our church facility. The team at United Ministries provides support for families in their search for affordable housing as well as help with employment readiness and financial counseling.
Since we couldn’t be together in-person to make the connections with families as we normally do four weeks each year, we showed generosity with a shower of gift cards for meals, school supplies, school clothes, and baby clothes. Some in our church wrote notes of encouragement to each family, and our Missions Committee approved $1500 from the Local Relief Account to help United Ministries with the expenses of hosting families during the pandemic.
My eight-year-old granddaughter, Ainsley, says that she is really missing the time she enjoys spending the night at church and playing with the children! We are looking forward to our future hosting dates when we hope to be back with in-person hosting!
If you are interested in learning more about this ministry, Lizzie Bebber (United Ministries executive director) and Alexandra Harris (IHN Co-Program Manager) share information in this video.
First Baptist Greenville IHN Team Coordinator