Letter: An environment of caring
Posted on Feb 12, 2014 - 02:56 PM Printer Friendly View
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has” —Margaret Mead.
Never has this been more evident of late in Gloucester County than through the efforts of the Gloucester Resource Council and the G.U.E.S.T. committee (Gloucester United Emergency Shelter Team) in initiating temporary hypothermia sheltering in our community this winter.
Initial discussions by the resource council, a network of human-service oriented organizations, and the efforts of the Gloucester Salvation Army led to the formation of the G.U.E.S.T. committee. This committee, comprised of representatives from faith-based and service organizations, as well as interested community members, planned and is providing temporary shelter during the evenings for our homeless.
On average, 6-7 guests have experienced dry, warm and safe sleeping arrangements, hot meals and an environment of caring. In the last month, temporary shelter facilities have been made available at the Gloucester Salvation Army office, the Disabled American Veterans building, Newington Baptist Church and First Presbyterian Church of Gloucester. Several other churches are also ready to serve as host sites, are working towards the goal of being a temporary shelter or have become partners with the committee.
This effort is a community-initiated collaboration of a large number of groups and volunteers, all working together to bring some comfort and aid to those in need. The list of those specifically involved is too extensive to list, but it is truly an impressive and heart-warming endeavor.
If you would like to be a part of this “small group of thoughtful, committed citizens,” please contact the G.U.E.S.T. committee helpline at 804-803-1755. Host sites, partnership organizations to provide meals, supervision and support services, and volunteers are needed and appreciated to continue to provide these services this year and next. If you’d like to support this effort financially, donations are being accepted with a check made payable to Abingdon Episcopal Church with memo note for “GUEST.” Please mail to P.O. Box 82, White Marsh, Va. 23183.
Gloucester Community Education
County Liaison to the Gloucester Resource Council