Churches Bring Warm Feeling to the Homeless
Posted October 25, 1997 12:00 a.m. EDT
RALEIGH — Millions of Americans will go to sleep tonight without a place to call home, without food and without clothing to keep them warm. Homelessness often breeds despair, but efforts are underway to make provide the needy with a ray of hope.
A circle of prayer: singing songs of praise, lifting up the spirits of the downtrodden. Members of Elevation Baptist Church and Trinity United Faith brought the warmth of kindness to people living without a home. The church's message to the homeless, "you can count on us."
Pastor Howard Winston of the Trinity United Faith Center believes churches have to do more than sit on their comfortable pews.
Church members believe they can touch the world by meeting people at their need. With cold weather fast approaching, the homeless need clothing. The church provides clothes in abundance, making them available for everyone.
"This way is not the way God intended for us to live," says Rev. Raymond Grant of the Elevation Baptist Church. "And for those of us who are saved, who are Christians and especially pastors, we ought to lead the way in reaching out in helping someone out."
Another important need the churches provide is food, and lots of it. The pastors and church members believe the homeless are very grateful.
"When the prayer was over, I saw a lady weeping and I walked to her and gave her a bible," Winston recalls. "I said to myself, there's a thin line between this woman and myself. I just want to be a part of rebuilding their broken lives."
Church members say they'll continue to reach out to the less fortunate in hopes of lifting their spirit and out of poverty.
The churches will continue to sponsor a "Ray of Hope" on a monthly basis. So far, more than 40 people have joined the churches, found a job and are now off the streets living in homes or apartments.