Extreme Emergency Cold Weather Shelter
A few days ago, we met Brian, who by the grace of God found his way to us when we opened our Extreme Emergency Cold Weather Shelter. Brian is just 22 yrs. old, but has already faced many challenges since he was a young teenager. His mother, who was facing many personal challenges herself, left him when he was just 15 yrs. old with his grandmother – who then passed away one year later. Brian has not seen his mother since and stated he does not know how to find her. He never knew his dad and had to learn how to make it on his own with help from friends and their parents along the way. He was able to graduate high school and then joined the military where he served until his contract was up. Since this time, he has struggled to find stability as he has moved a couple of times for jobs and relied on different friends to help him with housing, which in the end has not worked out. When Brian came to us that cold Thursday morning, he was exhausted and cold. He told us he had been walking back to Missouri from Florida and Alabama to meet up with friends, who had promised him a place to stay. Once he had made it most of the way he learned from the friends that they could no longer help him. The cold was setting in and he had no place to stay and felt like he was supposed to look to his right, where he saw an abandoned barn. He said that he told himself he needed either to sleep there for the night or freeze to death so he decided to sleep in the barn with the knowledge that he was trespassing and could get into trouble. The next day after he left and was walking on the road a local pastor stopped, picked him up and brought him to the Salvation Army Harbor House where he could get inside from the cold. Brian said, “I have never heard of The Salvation Army and I thank God that you guys allowed me to stay here, I do appreciate it, I really do.” While with us, Brian was able to have a warm place to sleep, warm food and a chance to witness the love of God through the volunteers and staff who helped us staff the shelter.