Christian Chronicle

Cold nights, warm hearts: Churches become homeless shelters

From Idaho to Maryland, congregations open their doors to strangers in need of food and rest.

By Bobby Ross Jr. | The Christian Chronicle

Each Friday night, a van picks up 15 homeless men in downtown Nashville, Tenn., and takes them to the Woodson Chapel Church of Christ for food, Bible study and rest.

Four to six weeks per year, the Dalton Gardens Church of Christ in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, rolls out mattresses and welcomes homeless parents and children to sleep in Sunday school classrooms.

On cold nights when regular homeless shelters fill up quickly, the Levy Church of Christ in North Little Rock, Ark., sets up bunk beds and cots and opens its doors.

Any given night, roughly 550,000 men, women and children in the United States lack a home to call their own, according to an annual federal report released this week.

“I was a stranger and you invited me in,” Jesus says in Matthew 25, talking about loving “the least of these brothers and sisters of mine.”

Taking the Lord’s words to heart, a number of Churches of Christ across the nation regularly transform their buildings into temporary homeless shelters — often cooperating with nonprofits such as Room In The Inn and Family Promise, leaders told The Christian Chronicle.

Read the full story.

This story appears in the December 2016 print edition of The Christian Chronicle.

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