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Homeless coalition volunteer based

By Staff | Feb 8, 2013

Pictured from left are Coalition Board members; Rev Georgia DuBose, Carol Beattie and Vivian L. Jackson. Renny Smith and Tina Burns represent the League of Women Voters. Jason Reifer, President of the Jefferson County Homeless Coalition, accepted the award. The Coalition's Vice President Bill Berry is on the right.

In February, 2010, Members of the South Jefferson County Ministerial Association, concerned about people in the county who had no place to go on cold, winter nights, began to explore operating a church-based cold weather shelter. They visited similar facilities in nearby communities and learned how to re-purpose community space in church buildings to safely serve the homeless.

The organization incorporated and received not-for-profit status in the summer of 2010. In November of 2010 the cold weather shelters opened at Zion Episcopal Church and at St James Catholic Church in Charles Town.

People in Jefferson County who need a place to stay can now get a hot meal and a bed any cold winter night. A daytime Hospitality Center initiated by volunteers at Charles Town Presbyterian Church, joined with the Homeless Coalition to offer new opportunities. Homeless people have a warm place to go in the morning, a light breakfast and connections with needed services.

This effort is completely volunteer-based. Anyone wishing to help is encouraged to contact Volunteer Coordinators Chris and Becky Hunter at stjshelter@gamil.com.

With this annual award, The League hopes to promote community efforts to address our most critical problems. Previous awards were given to CASA of the Panhandle and Good Shepherd Interfaith Volunteer Caregivers. League members recognize those who make a difference in the lives of our citizens. See civicwomen.wordpress.com/, find us on Facebook, or , to join, contact Ann Coulter at 304 876 3158 or anncoulter@comcast.net.