First Church is blessed to again to collaborate with the Lancaster Council of Churches and the YWCA for the 2017 season of the Women’s Winter Shelter. This shelter is an emergency one where we assist in providing a warm, dry, safe place to stay for homeless women in Lancaster County from 6:30 pm - 8 am.
First Church will be staffing the shelter for the following weeks: 2/1/17 -- 2/7/17 and 3/1/17 -- 3/7/17. There are many ways, dates and times to volunteer. Please consider joining us this season in a most worthy ministry!
To sign-up: http://www.signupgenius.com/go/70a0b48a9ab2fa13-winter1
Further Information: firstname.lastname@example.org
First Church completed its involvement in the 2015-16 Emergency Women’s Winter Shelter. This shelter is housed at the YWCA in the basement gym from 7:30pm-8 am daily from November to March. The shelter is coordinated by Lindsay Hess from the Lancaster County Council of Churches and assisted by two Social Work interns. There are over 12 groups that contribute volunteers to staff the shelter.
First Church staffed the shelter for two weeks filling 169 slots with over 70 volunteers. There were some volunteers that volunteered more than 3 times in a week and a few superstars that stayed overnight more than 3 times each week!
First Church volunteers assisted between 25-30 guests a night and served more than 5 families on a consistent basis. Average numbers were lower than in previous seasons as the LCCC communicated effectively with Tabor & the Mission via weekly meetings as well as electronic check-in resulting in rapid rehousing for guests. The shelter has seen over 180 unique individuals this season ranging in age from 6 weeks to well over 70!
First Church feels blessed and proud to have contributed in a small way to a very necessary ministry in our area. Following the “wrap-up” meeting on March 31st we will know what weeks we will cover in the 2016-17 season as well as what changes will be made in the effort to continue better serving our guests. We hope that more will join us next year!
A prayer board was created at the shelter:
Check out this story from the shelter:
In the time where fruit does not grow on trees in Lancaster County Women’s Shelter volunteers focused on the fruit of the spirit, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness &self-control...while we served guests with those fruits in mind, we were blessed with the same. There are so many instances but two to share are: One volunteer who has experienced homelessness in the past was able to have positive, impactful conversations with a few women with an authenticity that brought hope. Anne Griswold was the calming presence that a guest needed on her first night while rocking her newborn to sleep & drying her tears the next night when she was overwhelmed. All of us grew as we were forced to be so much more aware of our blessings, opportunities & resources. The best part of our service is that many guests repeatedly stated that they preferred First Church over other groups because we were fair, consistent and “real”- our reply was that we knew they expressed gratitude as such to all groups but inside- we felt warm, fuzzy & successful! On our last night we provided an opportunity for guests to write down what they wanted First Church to pray for and many of them full of the fruit of the spirit-writing more for others than they did for themselves.