A Matter of Faith: Emergency Cold Shelter in Columbus

COLUMBUS, Ga.- Most of us now-a-days use some sort of social media platform. Well, one pastor is using Facebook to reach thousands of people to help donate to one cause:  getting the homeless off the streets during the coldest nights in Columbus.

After thousands of people watched the pastor’s homemade video, it lead to a permanent emergency cold housing called the 28 and Below Shelter.

“I went out and put a post on Facebook, just on my normal Facebook page and then it just got shared and shared and shared so many times” said Tim Harris, the pastor of The Verge Church.

Pastor Harris is asking the community for help in spreading the word about opening The Verge Church in Columbus as an emergency cold shelter.

“And I know this, sleeping inside is much better than sleeping outside" said Pastor Harris.

In just a few hours, the video got over 3,800 views.

Volunteers began pouring in soon after, offering their help to turn a church into a safe place for people to sleep during night’s where temperatures drop to 28 and Below.

"I don’t have to worry about my safety or my stuff. I’m okay so, that’s the true reward. Just hearing someone snore… Never thought I’d say that" said Pastor Harris.

And to think, a video-selfie posted on Facebook would open the hearts of complete strangers to join together to help those who are in need the most.

A social media expert working with churches in the Columbus community says once you’re able to personally connect with people, you’ll get them hooked.

“So the answer is, find out what god’s called you to do, do it well and communicate it even better" said Sandy Ellingson.

Something Pastor Harris learned works very quickly.

Using Facebook, volunteers are continuing to post items the 28 and Below Shelter needs.

"Bring your blankets, your towels, jackets that you’re not wearing that are in the closet, shoes, socks…. Sock are in very big need" said Frankie Shurg, who is a church member at the Verge. 

Shurg said it’s a matter of faith in our community and a post on a social media platform that will keep the 28 and Below Shelter opening their doors to get people out of the cold… even if it is just for the night.

If you’re interested in donating any basic items like clothing or toiletries, you can go on the 28 and Below Shelter Facebook page for the address of the drop-off location.