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WPC Winter Homeless Shelter Hosting Recap

February 09, 2024

After a three year “COVID hiatus” WPC again hosted the Williamsburg Community of Faith Mission’s (COFM) winter shelter.  COFM is a faith-based, non-governmental emergency shelter ministry that provides emergency shelter and food to those in need in Williamsburg, James City and Upper York Counties from November to March.  The shelter rotates among local churches every week. This is COFM’s twelfth season of ministry.

From New Year’s Eve until the following Sunday morning, our church hosted over 20 different guests during the week with an average of 16 guests per night.  We opened our doors at 6:00PM each day and provided a home-cooked dinner, showers, a warm and secure place to sleep, a hot breakfast, and a bag lunch before bidding our guests a good day at 7:00AM.  The shelter operated in the basement area of the church.  Our guests were men and women of all ages and races and they were generous in their expressions of gratitude for the warmth and hospitality displayed by WPC members and by the volunteers of our partner churches. Our partner churches were Williamsburg Baptist Church, Life Church, First Baptist Church, and Stonehouse Presbyterian Church. 

Additionally, WPC members reciprocated with Life Church by fully staffing the shelter at their church on December 21, 2023,

The Hunger and Homeless subcommittee of WPC’s Christian Outreach Ministry coordinated the program led by site leaders Joe Avellar, Jim Winthrop, Jim Austin, and Tom Moul.  Barb Timko and Karen Annoni served as kitchen coordinators during the dinner hour.  The following WPC members and friends volunteered their time in supporting the shelter:

Sarah Avellar, Ruth and Tom Cobb, Nate Green, C. W. Stacks, Anne Schulte, Larry Foster, Rob Brown, Jim and Reid Kirkpatrick, Anthony Cochet, Dougie and Jack Winthrop, Megan Davis, Matt and Parker Slack, Larry and Penny Pulley, Dale and Abigail Trowbridge, Matt Sun, Tara Dow, Sarah Houghland, Bruce and Donna Powell, Eric Beckhusen, Mary Ann Kimminau, Jan and Wray Russel, Charlie Peters, Pete Osman, Happy and Ralph Simmons, Chuck Timko, Matt and Jane Vogel, Tracey and Jim Schwartz, Dorothy Geyer

 WPC’s successful shelter week was a marvelous opportunity for WPC to be a welcoming congregation and to build the Williamsburg Community of Faith.

Jim Winthrop

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