nvdaily.com link to home page

Traffic | Weather | Mobile Edition
      Archives | Subscribe | Special Sections

Local News arrow Ryan Cornell arrow Woodstock

| 0

Church leaders to gather for homeless summit

By Ryan Cornell

A number of church and community leaders from Shenandoah County are meeting on Thursday to discuss the county's homelessness and find a way to tackle the mounting problem.

The meeting will be held at Antioch Church of the Brethren, located at 23502 Senedo Road, Woodstock, starting at 7 p.m. Thursday. Church pastor George Bowers said the meeting is open to anyone interested in solving the issue.

"We're trying to pull together as many folks as possible to figure out a way to solve the homeless problem here in Shenandoah County," he said.

Other pastors involved in organizing the interdenominational Partnership to Provide Temporary Housing are from churches in Woodstock, Edinburg, Lebanon Church and Columbia Furnace.

"I just believe this issue has been building for quite some time," Bowers said. "It's been on the hearts and minds of many people."

The Point-in-Time Count, a tally of homeless individuals and families in Winchester and Frederick, Clarke, Page, Shenandoah and Warren counties over a 24-hour period, recorded an increase in homelessness from January 2012 to January 2013. According to the count, the total amount of homeless individuals increased from 313 to 355, while total homeless families increased from 222 to 272. The count reported that unsheltered individuals grew from 51 to 69 and unsheltered families rose from 45 to 52.

Bowers said there have been many in his congregation who have paid hotel bills for the homeless and supported shelters like the Shenandoah Alliance for Shelter, but the mission of the partnership is to find a long-term solution for the problem.

A major part of the meeting will be about how the community can team up with Family Promise and its Interfaith Hospitality Network, a national program dedicated to helping provide overnight accommodations and meals for homeless families through networking volunteers and congregations.

Claas Ehlers, director of affiliate services for Family Promise, said families with children make up 40 percent of the homeless population nationwide and that the number is even higher in rural areas such as Shenandoah County. He said he's noticed an increase in the amount of families seeking shelter among the organization's affiliates, and that counties such as Shenandoah have successfully applied the model.

"Instead of pumping all the money into bricks and mortar," he said. "We use the bricks and mortar that's already there in the congregations."

Acknowledging that the problem is too complex to answer in a single night, Bowers said that next week's meeting is just the first in a series.

"The first meeting will be organizational and informational," he said. "Several follow-up meetings will be needed."

He said the partnership is considering holding a second meeting in early December.

For more information, contact the Antioch Church of the Brethren at 540-459-3661.

Contact staff writer Ryan Cornell at 540-465-5137 ext. 164, or rcornell@nvdaily.com

Keep up to date on local news

Sign up here to receive Northern Virginia Daily news delivered to your email box each morning and when breaking news occurs.


Comments that are posted represent the opinion of the commenter and not the Northern Virginia Daily/nvdaily.com. View our comments/submisssions policy. Report abuse by clicking the X next to the comment.

Local News Sections

Affordable Care Act Agency on Aging Agriculture Alex Bridges Apple Blossom Festival Aviation Basye Berryville Boyce Breaking News Business Charities Civil War Clarke County Colleges Corrections Courthouse Notes: Permits, Transactions Courts & Legal News Crime & Public Safety Economy and Jobs Edinburg Education Edward N. Bell Election 2012 Election 2013 Entertainment Environment Fairs & Festivals Fire & Rescue Fishers Hill Fort Valley Frederick County Front Royal George Washington National Forest Guest Column Hard Times Health History Holidays Homes In The Spotlight Jeff Nations Joe Beck Josette Keelor Kim Walter Ledger Livestock Local Markets Maurertown Media Middletown Military & Veterans Moms Mount Jackson New Market Page County Pets & Animals Politics Progress 2013 Quicksburg Religion Rockingham County RSW Jail Ryan Cornell School News Shenandoah County Shenandoah Farms Volunteer Fire Department Star Tannery State Stephens City Steven A. Boyce Strasburg Toms Brook Traffic & Transportation Utilities Valley 911 Warren County Weather West Virginia Winchester Woodstock Year in Review

News | Sports | Business | Lifestyle | Obituaries | Opinion | Multimedia| Entertainment | Classifieds
Contact Us | NIE | Place a Classified | Privacy Policy | Comments/Submissions Policy | Subscribe

Copyright © The Northern Virginia Daily | nvdaily.com | 152 N. Holliday St., Strasburg, Va. 22657 | (800) 296-5137

2013 Virginia Press Association Sweepstakes Winner
The Best Small Daily Newspaper in Virginia!

nvdaily.com | seeshenandoah.com