Room in the Inn is open during the hottest and coldest months, weekly from Wednesday afternoon through Thursday morning at South Hills Christian Church. First Congregational Church partners with South Hills Christian Church to offer hospitality to five homeless men by providing a meal, personal interaction, and a comfortable bed for a night. Participants provide love in action, and help is welcome from adults and youth.
(CONTACT: Ann Cartwright)
Here is additional information about Room in the Inn:
How did this ministry begin?
Room in the Inn began over 20 years ago. In Fort Worth, Mary Sumner brought the ministry to her home church, Broadway Baptist, and has worked tirelessly to recruit other churches.
What about security?
Security is a question for many people who'd like to volunteer. The Day Resource Center (DRC) screens, interviews, approves, and provides an orientation for persons for the program. Only persons with no history of anger issues or violence are accepted, and the orientation ensures that persons know what to expect and what is expected of them. Boundaries, both personal and physical, are made clear. The DRC has general principles and guidelines--no alcohol or drugs, no violence, no physical or verbal abuse. All participants are expected to respect the property of the church, as well as the property and person of everyone. No serious incident has ever occurred in the history of the Room in the Inn ministry in Fort Worth.
What happens each Wednesday evening?
Our volunteers pick up our five guests at the Day Resource Center (DRC) around 4:30 p.m. and take them to South Hills Christian Church (3200 Bilglade). We provide a friendly welcome and a nourishing hot meal. Some guests choose to go to bed immediately after eating; others will watch a movie, play cards or dominoes, or read a book or magazine. Lights-out is at 10:00 p.m. Two volunteers (our "innkeepers") stay the night, awaking early to let in other volunteers who arrive to cook breakfast and transport our guests back to the DRC.
Why is this ministry needed?
Fort Worth has three area shelters (Presbyterian Night Shelter, Union Gospel Mission, and the Salvation Army) that together can offer 1,000 beds--far fewer than are needed. The need for safe and comfortable places to sleep is crucial especially during the hottest and coldest months of the year.
How can I help?
First, you can pray for this ministry, for our guests, and for our volunteers. You can also:
- Drive guests to and/or from the church and the DRC.
- Set up and make ready the sleeping area.
- Take down the sleeping area and clean up all areas of the church that are used (kitchen, Great Hall, youth rooms).
- Cook and serve dinner.
- Cook and serve breakfast.
- Stay the night as an Innkeeper.
- Have dinner with our guests and stay the evening to talk, play dominoes or cards, or watch a movie with them.
- Pick up the laundry, wash it, and bring it back to the church.
- Purchase supplies
- Donate financially to keep our supplies stocked.