When we read about or see news stories about homelessness, we have a tendency to think of it as a problem that exists only in big cities and urban areas and not in smaller communities like ours. The truth, however, is that there are homeless people everywhere, and our area is no exception. It is increasingly becoming a problem for law enforcement and community service agencies. Even Twin County Hospital is having issues with homeless folks coming to the emergency room trying to find a warm place to spend the night. We have people living in the woods off the New River Trail and behind shopping centers in Galax and even sleeping in doorways to businesses in downtown Galax. Some of us who have become more aware of the problem have been struggling for a while now with trying to find a way to address the plight of the homeless in our area.
Recently a few churches and some folks who work with the homeless through community service agencies began meeting to explore what we could do together to address this critical need in our area. We are very pleased and excited to share with you that we are opening an emergency shelter in Galax for the winter months. The shelter which we have named Elisha’s House is located at 222 Carroll Street in Cornerstone Community Church’s Center 2:42. We will open at 8 PM on nights when the temperature is forecasted to go below 29° and provide a light dinner, a chance to take a shower, and most importantly a warm place to spend the night. Guests will check out at 7:30 the next morning and be given a voucher for breakfast at a local restaurant. Elisha’s House is being funded by the churches involved in its formation and will be completely volunteer-run and operated.
We are having an open house on Tuesday, November 15 from 4-8pm and invite you to come out and visit Elisha’s House and see exactly what we will be doing. We realize this is not something we can do alone but are trusting God to truly make this a community ministry. We are looking for volunteers and churches to help staff the facility. We plan to have at least two people there every night we are open, so we will need churches or folks willing to work with us to do this. We would also be happy to have folks who are willing to provide a light evening meal like soup and sandwiches.
We will have more information available at our open house including flyers, orientation videos, and other ways you or your church could get involved. We strongly believe this is a ministry to which we as a community are called. We look forward to seeing you on November 15.
In Christ’s Love
Elisha’s House Board