The Overflow Homeless Shelter at First Pres has now been open for one month! So far, this year has seemed incredibly smooth and quiet overall. We’ve had many churches and groups pitch in to bring volunteer spots. We have averaged between 20-23 male guests per night. On a bad weather stretch in early January, we had volunteers go above and beyond to allow guests to stay late into the morning!

We’ve been served this month by at least:

  • 22 Site Coordinators: weekly leaders who open the shelter, acclimate volunteers & run the check in process for the guests.
  • 775 Meals Provided by over 20 different groups
  • 62 check-in volunteers: these friends have helped us run a smooth check-in process to get the guests settled and fed as quickly as possible!
  • 62 overnight volunteers: volunteers have stayed overnight to ensure the safety and effectiveness of the shelter.

As of this writing, our volunteer calendar is 73% full for the next two months! Great work! But we still have several opportunities to serve:

  • 3 Meal providers needed
  • 120 Check-in & Overnight volunteer openings

This is a massive undertaking for a quarter of the calendar year, and it isn’t close to being done yet! I’ve been thrilled with the support of First Pres members in this venture. Many of you who have been involved have noticed that we regularly see the same guests that we’ve had at the Overflow Shelter in previous years. While this has been a wonderful opportunity to continue to build relationships, it is also a stark reminder of the challenges our guests have of both finding stability and remaining in productive situations for the long haul.

Pray for the guests to feel loved, to know the God who loves them, and to have the peace of Christ rule in their hearts. I’m reminded, through the good nights and bad, that they are as much made in the image of God as I am. Their struggles are tangible, and often crippling, but I believe there is a way forward for them.

Thanks for serving, thanks for being the hands and feet of Jesus to those on the margins of Winston Salem.

Warmly in Christ,
Petey Crowder

We have many open volunteer spots available for the Overflow Shelter. To sign up to volunteer, please visit our Sign Ups Page.