It’s hard to believe, but we’re half way through the Room In The Inn season! The numbers are in and the hard work of volunteers at over 100 host sites have made them possible. We’ve had 1,020 individuals enjoy the comfort, safety, and fellowship of RITI shelter, including 65 children who were part of the 37 families we’ve served so far this year.
One of our youngest guests is a six-month old boy who is with his father. As a young, single dad experiencing homelessness, life can be overwhelming, so we’re grateful for congregations like Carmel Presbyterian and others that step up to help. Last month Carmel volunteers could sense the break this dad needed and spent time nurturing and holding the baby so that both dad and baby could get a good night’s rest. It filled the souls of both guests and volunteers.
Hosts have also been introduced to some of our most challenging neighbors, including those with mental health issues. Providence Baptist has shown patience and understanding to more than one guest, including one who, after pacing and talking to himself for several hours, was found the next morning shoveling the church parking lot out from Charlotte’s worst storm of the season.
Still more have commented on the helpful nature they observe in RITI guests. Quail Hollow Presbyterian noticed how one man instantly took to a woman in a wheelchair. Although they had just met earlier that day, he began to care for her as family, helping her with things she could not do herself. Kudos also to the UMC check-in team for noticing and sending them to the same church that evening! Luckily this man is also working with our Outreach team and will soon be in his own apartment.
There are infinite stories, personalities, tragedies, and celebrations that come along with each of the 8,383 bed-nights provided during the first half of the season; and we cannot thank this community enough for the love they show our neighbors.