“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
From Jan. 16 until Jan 23, St. Luke will host 25 homeless men. This is a rotating shelter program organized by the Shelter Association of Washtenaw County, which is centered at the Delonis Center in downtown Ann Arbor. St. Luke has agreed to provide rides, evening dinner, overnight hosts, and help with laundering towels.
Ron McCarty knows a little bit about what it is to serve with our Homeless shelter ministry. I took a moment to ask Ron about serving the Ann Arbor community in this special way.
LW: How long have you been a part of this important ministry?
RM: I have helped with the homeless ministry for the past 6 or more years. Initially, I volunteered as a driver and overnight host. I now help in those areas as needed and coordinate drivers both ways.
LW: What can someone expect who is volunteering during Homeless shelter week?
RM: Drivers pick the men up at the homeless center and bring them to St. Luke where teams of people have prepared a meal for the men. In the morning, drivers give the men rides back to Ann Arbor and drop them off at St. Andrew’s for breakfast or Delonis as desired.
Overnight hosts join the men for dinner and simply join in conversation with them, mostly listening to their stories. The men enjoy using the St. Luke showers and sleep in the great room.
There are a variety of ways to help. Check out the sign-up sheets in the lobby to find ways to help. Examples in addition to driving and overnight hosting are laundry (washing towels), replenishing toiletries, serving meals and other tasks.
LW: Tell us about how Jesus grows your faith through your participation in Homeless Shelter week.
RM: Usually, when in one-on-one conversation with one of the men, his story is told. Many times we find men who have just fallen on hard times or have simply made poor decisions leading to their current state. Many times I find that these men do have a relationship with Jesus and are willing to talk about it. Most are searching for a way out of homelessness. Providing these men with a warm place to sleep, a meal, and a little encouragement is helpful for them and also for me. I recognize that although in very difficult circumstances they are still open to a message of hope.
LW: How can we pray for the participants and workers?
RM: Pray that people would not be afraid to serve. Pray that servers would understand that even though they might not feel like they are making a difference, they are. Most of the men are very appreciative of the rotating shelter and say so. Pray that each of them may find a way out of the situation there are in.
We still need your help! You can sign up to help us host our guests by contacting Allen Morgan.
There are many ways to serve. We need many volunteers to make this ministry work. You can sign up as an individual, small group or even a family.
If you are interested in making a donation, please refer to the list of requested items below. If you plan to donate one of the larger items, we ask that you donate 27 of each item.
–disposable double-blade razors
-toothbrushes, preferably with holder/carry case
-small packages of tissues
-duffel bag/carry bag/backpacks
The Homeless Week Rotating Shelter runs from January 16 through January 23.
Please contact Allen Morgan for more information or see the table in the lobby.