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Jericho shelter looking for 100 Christian men as volunteers

Our seasonal men’s homeless shelter opens in less than a month, on Nov. 15, and Jim Wiley, Jericho’s ministry coordinator, is praying for more than 100 men to spend one or two nights at the Maple Avenue shelter during the winter.

“Ideally I’d like 180 men to volunteer for a night,” Jim said. “Then we’d cover the total commitment of 180 consecutive nights between November and April.”

The number of men volunteering has steadily increase over the past four years, from 10 the first year the shelter opened, to 30 the next year to 60 and then 77 last year, he said. “At our appreciation dinner I challenged the men to speak to their church’s men’s group and encourage more men to volunteer, and to encourage their church to adopt the homeless ministry.”

Four churches – First Assembly of God in Brookfield, Immanuel Lutheran and New Hope Baptist Church in Danbury, and Walnut Hill Community Church in Bethel – have adopted the ministry during the past four years, Jim said. “I would be hard-pressed to keep the shelter open without these four core churches, and I pray that other churches that are part of Jericho Partnership would respond to the Holy Spirit’s call.”

A volunteer spends the night between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. the next morning at the shelter. “Most of the men who have served are repetitive servers because they know they’re not only blessing the homeless men but in returned they’re also being blessed,” he said.

For more information, e-mail Jim at jim@jerichopartnership.org, or check out the open dates for shelter volunteers, “then shoot me an e-mail and tell me what dates you want,” Jim said. “I’ll fill in the dates and a week prior to your serving, I’ll send a confirming e-mail to remind you of your scheduled date.”

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