Role of Faith-Based Communities in Ending Homelessness
by David Levine, President/CEO
It is often overlooked, but the faith-based communities in the Greater Mount Vernon area play a key role in supporting the homeless population. For instance, starting in November, Rising Hope United Methodist Church will again house the main hypothermia shelter along Richmond Highway.
With support from New Hope Housing and Ventures in Community, the consortium of nonprofit providers and faith communities in our service area, the hypothermia shelter will provide critical care and shelter to many homeless individuals — many who would otherwise face life-threatening temperatures outside of a shelter.
The leadership by Rising Hope UMC in the area of homeless services and sheltering is not unusual. In fact, according to a survey by the National Alliance to End Homelessness, nearly 30 percent of the emergency shelter beds for individuals and families are delivered through faith communities nationwide. On any given night, the faith communities throughout the country house nearly 150,000 homeless and unsheltered persons.
You can read more about these faith communities and their worthwhile and vital work in sheltering here: Faith Based Communities and Homelessness
One feature of our Greater Mount Vernon service area has been the faith communities and their strength and numbers within the human services provider network. They truly make a difference for those in need in our area.