Wicomico County Churches Shelter Homeless From The Cold - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

Wicomico County Churches Shelter Homeless From The Cold

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SALISBURY, Md. - The winter months are especially brutal for those without a home, or those at risk of homelessness.  According to the National Coalition for the Homeless 700 people in this position die each year from hypothermia, but some local churches are making a coordinated local effort to help local folks living on the streets.

At St. Peter's Episcopal Church in Salisbury, 30 beds get the dozens of homeless men out of the cold.  Offering a warm space to sleep might not seem like much, but outreach workers stress it's a life saving effort.

Pat Marvel, an outreach worker with the HOPE network says it all started nearly a decade ago.  "Years ago, we had lost two gentlemen to cold weather.  After that, Salisbury University and the Wicomico ministerial association got together and decided to do something about it.

A decade later, the Emergency Shelter Program , now provides nearly 100 men without a home a warm place to rest their heads from January to March.  St. Peter's Episcopal is one of 10 in a network of local churches that provide a week of food and shelter for homeless men.  "We were one of the 1st 5 or 6 churches that were involved in opening our doors to the men's homeless shelter," says Bob Souza, a volunteer at St. Peter's.

A veteran in this initiative, St. Peter's has seen the need for this type of shelter grow over time.  But thanks to dozens of volunteers, St. Peter's and the other churches in the Emergency Shelter Program has been able to help these often overlooked men, find some safe stability.

What these organizations do is not easy, and they can't do what they do without the much needed help of volunteers.  If you're interested in donating your time or food, contact St. Peter's Episcopal Church at (410) 742-5118.


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