Ministries > Room In The Inn
Room In the Inn History
Since 1996, the Urban Ministry Center has partnered with colleges and congregations of many faiths to open their facilities to provide shelter and food for homeless people during the winter months. Each site offers a warm, safe place to sleep, serves three meals (dinner, breakfast and bag lunch) and then returns guests the following morning to uptown Charlotte. The program offers a unique way for people of faith to become directly involved with individuals who are homeless. The basic goal is to keep homeless people from freezing on cold winter nights. A greater goal is to provide a more personal relationship to homeless people, at least for a night, and to foster a deeper understanding of the depth and complexity of the issue.
How Room In The Inn Works
Last year, 135 congregations, colleges and YMCA’s partnered with us. On any given night, we have 10 to 15 host sites throughout Charlotte, each taking in 12-14 homeless people on their assigned evening. These organizations pick up our neighbors and then take them back to the host facility for a hot meal and an evening of movies, fellowship and other activities. In some cases, our homeless neighbors can use telephones, showers and laundry facilities. The host group recruits volunteers who spend the night with their homeless neighbors, serve breakfast in the morning and then drive the neighbors back to uptown Charlotte in the morning.
Each year, 5,000 Room In The Inn volunteers throughout the community help in some way: registering neighbors, driving, making dinner and serving dinner, chaperoning overnight, making sandwiches for lunch or simply sharing a meal and conversation.