Hospitality In the Name of Christ
is Close for the 2020 – 2021 Season
This has been a season of many trials and tribulations and we are charting unprecedented waters. We are grateful for so many things and see God’s continued hand of provision for this Ministry.
The Hospitality Board has been in a quandary about to what to do this year regarding opening the shelter. After much prayer and many conversations and meetings, we have decided it is not feasible to open up this November for what would have been Season 12.
As a Board we have been able to problem solve many issues that would have to be addressed in Moving Forward, but there are two we have not been able to resolve. How do we minimize exposure risk to our Volunteers and how do we quarantine our guests if someone were to be infected with COVID? As you know a large portion of our Volunteers are in a high-risk age group and that is cause for concern. We have already had some volunteers express their concern and some have decided to sit this year out, but hope to be back for the following Season. We understand their anxiousness and the decision to forgo this Season. Another complication is if one of our guests is symptomatic, how will we lock down the Shelter? We can send home our Volunteers to quarantine, but we certainly cannot do this with our guests because the shelter is their “home”. Larger missions have paid staff and big budgets to handle this situation, albeit not easily, but they are already managing a 24/7 shelter. We acknowledged the Board could muster up support for a bit as we did during the polar vortex, but certainly not long term. We still have a responsibility to our guests and we want to help, but it will definitely look much different this year. The first step we are taking is to make contact with our guests that are currently living in tents to let them know we are not opening. Three plus months gives them time to consider other options and move towards an alternative living arrangement. As a Board we have not yet had an opportunity to formulate ways to help them, but perhaps it may look a bit like it did this last March when we closed 6 weeks prematurely. At that time, we sat down with each guest to help them brainstorm where they might go and praise God all 16 found a safe place to live. We were able to provide support with laundry services, food boxes, transportation, gift cards, supplemental meals, mail delivery and general support. Having these supportive services for the guest allowed them to stay in their new living arrangement with a little less stress and it allowed us to stay in contact with them as well. Also, as many of you know we have been working towards a program for our homeless men that have a desire to change. Those that would like to be self-sufficient men of God. We are going to begin the process of putting a program together. Initially, we will begin asking God where this program will be housed and what does the program look like. We know mentorship, responsibilities of working and volunteering are huge pieces to the program, but there is plenty more to consider and we can now begin to focus on God’s desire for this program.
You may be wondering if you will still have an opportunity to serve and we can confidently say YES! We will still have many areas that rely on compassionate Volunteers to come alongside our guests and we are confident God will supply our needs.
Please be in prayer as to how you might continue to bless us with your gifts and abilities as well as be in prayer for us as we forge forward into new territory.
With Love and Gratitude,
Tammy & Tim Martin and the Hospitality INC Board