(WMAR) — “It gives me a sense of hope. I have somewhere to stay at,” said Tavaris Jones.
Jones found himself on hard times recently.
“I’ve been given food, fed very well. Clothing, showers, you name it, they give it to you,”
St. John the Evangelist Church is home for these guests. That's what the Winter Shelter Program volunteers call them.
“I’m struggling with mental health and some addiction situations and just trying to get my life on balance trying to figure out who I am and where I want to be at,” said Jones.
He’s been in an out of shelters and says this program, 27 years in the making, is changing his life already.
“It gives me that sense that there are people out there that care for you. So when I do get down on myself I can think about that and reflect on what I’ve been through the people that have helped me, how far I’ve come,” Jones told WMAR 2 News.
From a place to sleep, to hot meals, to toiletries and warm clothing. St. John the Evangelist is just one of 70 churches opening its doors to bring warmth and compassion.
“We get them off the streets. Our mission is to keep people from freezing to death on the streets,” said Biddlecomb, director of the Winter Relief Program.
It's a labor of love for the volunteers who work on their Friday nights. For them, helping those with nowhere to call home is a calling and a duty.
For Jones, and those that will call one of the program’s sites home for the next week, it's the chance to write a new chapter in a book that deserves to be written.
“I can look back and say that really benefited me and so it does play a major role in the way I feel about life going forward,” said Jones.
The Winter Relief Program runs from October through April and is helping about 100 people per night.
Arundel House of Hope is always looking for new sites to house the homeless.