The Bashor Night Shelter Needs You
Dear OLA Parish Community,
We would like to take this opportunity to highlight OLA’s Night Shelter Volunteer Ministry.
The Bashor Homeless Men’s Shelter is a winter season night shelter for about 90 homeless men in downtown Atlanta hosted on the campuses of Central Presbyterian Church and the Catholic Shrine of the Immaculate Conception on MLK Drive across from the State Capitol Building. The Shelter is open seven nights a week and provides the guests with overnight shelter including a sleeping cot, showers, access to medical care, a hot dinner and a bag lunch for the next day. The Shelter has been in operation since 1980 as a completely volunteer run enterprise. These volunteers are an ecumenical group constituted from many metro area churches. OLA is a longtime sponsor and supports it in two ways: with weekly meals prepared by the Soupremes ministry; and with overnight volunteers organized by the Night Shelter ministry.
While we minister to a men's shelter, the volunteers include both women and men. There are several OLA women who have been long-time overnight volunteers. We serve at the Shelter by heating and serving dinner (pre-prepared by the Soupremes), cleaning up afterward, and then staying overnight to provide supervision of the guests. We typically have 6 overnight volunteers per night who rotate the shifts of sleeping and supervision. Total time on site is from 6PM to 6AM. OLA Church is assigned to provide overnight volunteers for the second Tuesday of each month from November through March.
As it did to so many other church activities, Covid-19 diminished the OLA Night Shelter volunteers. There are now fewer than 15 volunteers. We would like to expand that number to a more sustainable 25 or 30. Won’t you please give this some thoughtful consideration?
The reward of this ministry is the direct, hands-on outreach with the homeless men. In one-on-one encounters you hear their stories and find that these are real people who are down on their luck. They are humble and genuinely appreciative of the warm meal and the shelter from the winter weather. Serving them in this way is a humbling and uplifting experience.
OLA’s Night Shelter ministry is organizing now for the upcoming season with the Bashor Homeless Men’s Shelter and will fill out the roster of volunteers in October. Please contact Nick Meyer at firstname.lastname@example.org or 404.702.6087 to sign up or if you would like to find out more about this outreach volunteer opportunity.