Night Stay needs churches

Published 9:40 pm Monday, September 16, 2019

To the editor:

The CAPS Night Stay Winter Shelter Program will soon begin its seventh season, and we need churches to help host and provide transportation!

Each church takes one week at the time to be a shelter for our homeless population. The shelter is open from 6:30 p.m. until 7 a.m. the next morning. Everything is provided, even a shower trailer! The host church provides the location, the volunteers to man it and meals (supper, breakfast, and a bagged lunch to go). CAPS delivers a trailer with bedding and needed supplies.

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Each Wednesday, the host church unloads the needed items from the trailer and sets up their church (preferably one large room such as a fellowship hall) as a shelter, and each night that week they welcome our homeless guests in and demonstrate the love of Christ by giving them a warm, safe place to sleep and food to eat. They eat supper; then shower, read, have activities, etc.; then lights are out at 10 p.m. The next morning, they get up, eat breakfast and leave by 7 a.m. Three or four volunteers sit quietly through the night while their guests sleep, so they feel safe.

The Bible tells us in 1 John 3:17-18, “But if anyone has the world’s good and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.”

You may be wondering exactly what is needed to do this. You need a large room (or a few smaller rooms) with at least two bathrooms close by; caring volunteers to sit with the guests; and volunteers that like to prepare food. We ask that you provide towels and washcloths, but everything else is provided.

We all stereotype what homelessness looks like, but let me give you the reality. Our youngest guest was 1 month old, and our oldest guest was 81. We had 26 children last year and 38 women. We averaged 13 per night and had a total of 116 for the entire season. Probably not what you think of when you think of homelessness.

I won’t pretend that it is not a lot of work, but it is one of the most rewarding missions my church has ever done, or that I have done personally, and it’s only for one week of the year.

Please prayerfully consider making this one of your church’s missions. This is what God calls us to do as Christians!

“When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality.” Romans 12:13

For more information, please contact CAPS Night Stay Administrator, Cheryl Griffin at or call 286-9126.

Cheryl Griffin

CAPS Night Stay Administrator