Since Brunswick County does not provide a shelter for the homeless, Streetreach has organized a program in which various churches host the homeless on a rotating basis. The training for the Streetreach Interfaith Winter Night Program was held on October 20, at the New Life Christian Fellowship with Pastor Bobby Norton in attendance. They were the host church for the first week of this year’s program. Forty-nine volunteers attended the training.
The program began with a light lunch provided by the church. Then Donna Phelps conducted the training by explaining the rules that govern the program. Using Brunswick County Homeless Coalition president, Barbara Serafin, to play the role of a homeless person arriving at the shelter, Donna walked volunteers through the registration process. She showed residents how to handle various situations that might occur such as a guest arriving intoxicated. Several folks who participated in last year’s program shared their experiences.
Donna showed the cots which have been purchased for each site and the bedding that is provided. In churches that have shower facilities, hotel sized shampoo and toiletries are provided for each guest Many attending the training came because their church will serve as a host site. Others came to learn about the program and how they can best help host churches. Attendees agreed that the program was very informative and feel better prepared to meet the needs of the homeless.
Originally published by the Brunswick County Homeless Coalition in the “Currents” newsletter, Fall 2012 (Vol. 1, No. 3) edited by Kitty Kesler and published by Susie Kubley.