"No, this is the kind of fasting I want: Free those who are wrongly imprisoned; lighten the burden of those who work for you. Let the oppressed go free, and remove the chains that bind people. Share your food with the hungry, and give shelter to the homeless. Give clothes to those who need them, and do not hide from relatives who need your help." ~ Isaiah 58:6-7
Via email from Hayes Holderness of Greensboro Burrito Bikers:
Another great morning [Saturday, 12/18/2010]. We served around 60+ people, but had plenty of food due to a number of new volunteers today. So great to see the spirit spread to others. I even had a couple of new guys bike with me (Larry and Andrew).
Don and Shawn and Sarah are very close to getting out of the woods and into housing as of January 1. Many people have helped donate to gifts for Shawn/Sarah’s boys. Lee showed up just for fellowship – didn’t want to take food because he’s inside and has a job, that he’s very proud of. Shorty said he got a settlement on his car lawsuit and plans to put the money to use to help other homeless. Other guys from Winter Emergency shelters showed up to have coffee but didn’t want to take burritos – the homeless look out for each other in this way. Most are very caring and are so appreciative of any caring extended their way…
We also had Christmas music this morning. I took an old boombox and made up some CD’s, both with traditional hymnals as well as popular cheery Christmas songs. People really liked it. A few were singing amonst themselves.
Finally, for those of you who don’t often visit our wiki page, and might think of joining us this Saturday morning, which is Christmas: We will NOT be at our regular spot. There are some churches getting together to sponsor a seated Christmas breakfast at the Methodist Church (302 W Market St) at 9:00 am Christmas morning. So we will take our burritos there and help serve and enjoy the Christmas spirit. Anyone is welcome, and you don’t need to bring anything. Come for as long or as short as you can stay – they expect the whole service, including breakfast, singing, and some gift giving will take a couple of hours.
We’ll be back at [the sidewalk outside Center City] park on New Year’s Day, at 8:00[am].
Merry Christmas to all.
Note: I deleted a paragraph about a gift a homeless man made as a surprise for someone. I hope to write about that one later, when I know it’s been delivered.
As the weather gets bitterly cold, Greensboro Urban Ministry’s Weaver House is packed with homeless people desperate to stay warm. The shelter has beds for 100 people, but recently there have been as many as 65 additional people seeking shelter at night. Some sleep on mats on the floor in the lobby area, but there are only so many mats to go around, so others sleep on blankets and chairs.
“I’ve worked here at Weaver House for seven years and this is the largest numbers that I’ve seen in a while,” said Tammy Davis, case manager at Weaver House.“
Note: The 165 homeless people at Greensboro’s Urban Ministry’s Weaver House shelter is in addition to the 100+ homeless people in winter emergency (WE) shelters located in seven Greensboro churches. And those numbers are homeless adults only. There are separate shelters for homeless families. (AndÂ for a number of reasons, there are still homeless people outside.)
An outbreak of bed bugs at The Salvation Army of Greensboro’s Center of Hope has closed down three dorms — a total of 16 beds — and the Center needs to raise $22,000 to purchase 76 new mattresses to replace both infested mattresses and those that are old, worn and torn, with holes that bed bugs can get into.
Thankfully, the closing of the dorms didn’t displace any families, but it does mean that for now, that’s three families or 16 individuals Greensboro’s Center of Hope won’t be able to house, and in a city with many more homeless people than homeless shelter beds, that’s not good news.
According to Center of Hope Executive Director Jackie Lucas (via email), no new families or individuals can move into the Center of Hope until the new mattresses are purchased. You can help. Please send a monetary donation to:
Jackie Lucas, Executive Director The Salvation Army Center of Hope 1311 South Eugene Street Greensboro, NC 27406