WARNER ROBINS, Ga. (41NBC/WMGT) — Opening a homeless shelter is something the leaders of The Table at First Christian Church in Warner Robins have always wanted to do.
In the past they had cooling and warming stations during the day to allow homeless people to get away from the elements for a bit.
Pastor Christopher Carter says with the onset of freezing temperatures, they felt the call to open a nighttime warming shelter.
“We trusted God in the process and people showed up in such large numbers and blessed us with donations. Members of our congregation stepped in and helped,” he said.
Steven Kidd, board chairman and table elder at First Christian Church, says they’ve been operating a blessing box for several months. This is where people in need can go anytime and pick up items like snacks, personal supplies, or clothing. This week though, he says Warner Robins Code Enforcement contacted them to see if they could open a heated shelter.
“It just allows us to put our ‘Love God, Love People’ philosophy that we have this church into action. It takes words to see an impact on a person’s life,” he said.
Pastor Carter says when someone shows up and needs a warm place to stay, they go through a short admissions process and then receive a hot meal and a bed to sleep in. They also receive breakfast and a bag of snacks to take away for lunch the next day.
Thirteen people have stayed this week so far and more are expected along the way.
“It’s in our hearts, it’s our mission here to help people struggling with homelessness and other issues,” he said. “But we would like to unite with the people and make a dent here in central Georgia.”
Kidd says the heated shelter is a way for community members to have a positive impact.
“If you want the voluntary relationship experience, if you can’t for any reason, give financially,” he said.
The Church hopes to keep the shelter open as the cold weather continues. They have a vision to eventually open a permanent shelter.
If you would like to volunteer or donate to the Heat Shelter, email [email protected]