COLUMBIA—Shandon United Methodist Church has partnered with Homeless No More to assist in championing the needs of Midlands homeless families through providing all the bedding needs for their new units.
Congregants gathered and decorated the new dorms after collecting the items needed through a COVID-friendly Amazon Wish List, which was set up by Shandon’s Outreach Committee led by Dr. Sue Haddock, chair of the committee. Congregants could click and buy, sending the items to church without even having to get out and shop during the pandemic.
Shandon has a long history of assisting Homeless No More. They built the Family Shelter Community Center, which is used to feed the families when they are in need of emergency housing. In addition, Shandon has made Homeless No More one of its signature ministries, which prioritizes their needs in the community.
The Rev. Shannon Bullion said this is because “Shandon’s Church Council sees the benefit of helping the community’s most economically fragile folks get back on their feet.”
Lila Anna Sauls, president and CEO of Homeless No More, along with Elizabeth Blake Dudek, director of development, met and gathered with the Shandon UMC group and reminded them they are the only shelter that serves family units, including men and boys older than age 12, therefore keeping the entire family together. The family shelter is more than just a place to sleep. It offers kids activities while working with their parents to ensure a path to stability.
Homeless No More has expanded both their campus and capacity. Their campaign of Putting Families First raised more than $5.8 million through various community groups, individuals, corporations and churches. This new capacity is a great asset to Columbia, whose eviction rates are ranked eighth in the nation—a poor ranking to say the least.
Bullion said Columbia must focus on housing as one of its top initiatives.
Homeless No More can always use more support. It is located at 2411 Two Notch Road in Columbia.
For more information on Homeless No More’s emergency services, visit https://www.homelessnomoresc.org/emergency-services.