This is a guest post by Hayden Blythe, Director of Hope for Suffolk
After last week, I was pretty tired… and I know some of you were too! On Wednesday we finished hosting our first week of the Night Stay Shelter, a rotating homeless shelter run by the Coalition Against Poverty in Suffolk (CAPS). Being a part of Night Stay is always therapeutic for me. I often feel powerless to truly help people in poverty. At the same time, I often feel cynical about any efforts made to help! But the Night Stay Shelter is a real, tangible and effective way to DO something that aligns with God’s heart AND follows “best practices of poverty alleviation”. Serving with so many of you dramatically reveals the beauty and love of God’s people and reminds me that we are empowered to push back the very gates of hell.
We served a total of 7 people in the last week, which is far fewer than the numbers we served before COVID. That’s because there are 30 hotel rooms for the homeless, paid for by a government fund. Those 30 rooms were filled before January 1st and anyone who becomes homeless after that is put on a waiting list (which currently has over 15 people on it). Night Stay makes sure that no one has to fall through the cracks during the coldest time of year. Thank you to everyone who makes Night Stay possible through your sacrificial service!