Inside Out 266: Homeless Initiative
We can’t know how many people in America will be homeless tonight—every number you get your hands on is only an estimate.
What we can know—and what we do know—is that when those with resources provide for those without, God is pleased. He’s told us so.
With that in mind, in Tioga County, Pennsylvania, a coalition of nine churches--along with other caring people--have created the Tioga County Homeless Initiative. Now in its second winter, the coalition provides supper, overnight shelter, and breakfast for those in need. Laundry and shower facilities are also available.
According to Paul Bowes, president of the Homeless Initiative, those who volunteer with the shelter have an opportunity to demonstrate that “God is a good God.” Volunteers have a chance to prepare meals and provide overnight supervision, but, even more importantly, they have a chance to interact with the shelter’s guest. “Come,” Bowes says, “and … be there just to fellowship with them, or to talk to them.”
For many who visit the shelter, Bowes says, “It’s a breath of fresh air to be in an environment where people are talking to them.”
To find shelter, volunteer, or ask questions about how your community can begin a similar ministry, contact the Tioga County Homeless Initiative at (570) 439-9383. The shelter is located at 2580 Charleston Road in Mansfield, near the Whitneyville Fairgrounds (the location of Tioga County Fair). The facility is located along one of the bus routes of the Endless Mountains Transportation Authority.
Join us (by clicking on the “Listen” button above) for a conversation with Paul Bowes about the causes of homelessness in northern Pennsylvania and the work of the coalition of churches to meet the need. Then let us know what you think by typing a comment or two below.
To access the website for the Tioga County Homeless Initiative, click here: http://tiogahomeless.org/