“We know from the data that the best way to move the mission forward is to plant churches.”
The shelter is operated by Hands and Hearts Ending Homelessness, a nonprofit that partners with community organizations.
The Park (Salisbury, Md.) church began hosting a winter shelter for men experiencing homelessness for a second consecutive year on Nov. 12 in the community outreach center behind the main church building.
The space provides up to 32 men with food, clothing, and access to city and state services.
The shelter is operated by Hands and Hearts Ending Homelessness (HHEH), a nonprofit that has operated a winter men’s shelter in Salisbury for nearly 20 years in partnership with area churches and community organizations. 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, Park pastor.
According to Carlson, the church’s involvement with HHEH is an opportunity for Adventists to build relationships in the community. “The real blessing is working with other churches and civic organizations in the Salisbury area and giving Seventh-day Adventists a face in the community,” he says.
A report on HHEH was recently featured on ABC affiliate WMDT 47. Additionally, Carlson recently appeared for an interview on local CBS affiliate WBOC’s 5:00 p.m. feature program, “Delmarva Life,” on Nov. 1.
Carlson says the church is making a far greater missional impact in Salisbury by partnering with HHEH and other churches and community groups than if they tried to run similar programs by themselves. He reports that more non-Adventists have visited the Park church because of the congregation’s partnership with HHEH over the past year than through any other ministry initiative the church has run over the past five years.
HHEH’s long-term goals include finding a permanent downtown location and expanding to year-round operations.