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Park Church Provides Winter Shelter for Homeless Men During the Holidays

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The Park church’s partnership with Hands and Hearts Ending Homelessness to host the shelter enters its third year.

The Park church in Salisbury, Md., is continuing its mission to support those experiencing homelessness by opening its Community Outreach Center as a men’s shelter for another winter. The space provides a place to sleep for up to 32 men each night and connects shelter guests with food, clothing, and access to city and state services.

This initiative, in partnership with the nonprofit group Hands and Hearts Ending Homelessness (HHEH), marks the third consecutive year that the congregation has hosted the organization’s shelter on its church property. Representatives from the Park church serve on HHEH’s leadership team: the executive director is member Walter Davidson, and the board president is Greg Carlson, pastor of the Park church.

During the recent holiday season, volunteers prepared special holiday meals and distributed Christmas gifts to the men taking refuge at the shelter, fostering a sense of community and holiday spirit. Through seven weeks of operation so far this winter, the shelter has hosted 63 men for at least one night.

Leaders at the Park church have expressed that partnering with HHEH and hosting the shelter each winter has been a profound blessing for the congregation. Carlson said the partnership has helped the church become more engaged with other community organizations and has been a catalyst for meaningful conversations about Adventist beliefs. He added that many of the men who stay at the shelter choose to attend the church’s prayer meeting and vesper programs each week. 

HHEH relies on grants and donations to operate. The organization recently purchased a van to shuttle men from downtown Salisbury to the shelter and hopes to eventually find a permanent location to operate a year-round shelter. Learn more at handsandheartsshelter.org.

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