MARSHALL COUNTY, Ala.- When overnight lows are around freezing, folks without homes need a place to stay safe and warm.
Creek Path Baptist Church is one of about 30 other churches opening its doors to the Marshall County homeless population.
The churches offer them a place to sleep, food and fellowship.
More than a dozen of our “homeless neighbors” spent the night at Creek Path Baptist Tuesday night to take advantage of the ‘Room in the Inn’ program.
A family of five with three young children was among the homeless.
“The people are so open-armed, it’s immaculate, there’s so much love and just wanting to help us,” said one Room in the Inn resident Curtis Edwards.
Edwards told WHNT News 19 he is a drug addict on disability who has made one wrong decision after another.
He said he thankful to have a place to sleep during cold winter nights.
“I am so grateful that I don’t have to sleep in a car, I don’t have to sleep outside. I might be sleeping on a cot, but it’s warm. I just got a full belly of food,” said Edwards.
Church member Richard Marsh has helped with the local program for the last five years.
“I try and think of myself and how I would like sleeping somewhere else in an area that’s not inside a house or a room that’s heated,” said Marsh.
He told WHNT News 19 that hosting the homeless is a blessing for the church members as well.
“We form friendships. We see what the Lord is doing in their lives because we’re seeing new faces every year. Well, if we’re seeing new faces every year then that means the lord is putting these others in position, we’ll see some maybe a couple years, but he’s giving them jobs and giving them opportunities,” said Marsh.
Edwards said he is now pursuing new opportunities including finding a new home.
He told WHNT News 19 that it could not have happened without Marshall County Homeless Ministries ‘Room in the Inn’.
“This ‘Room in the Inn’ will help me get through the red tape from my past to get to my future. I’ve done found a new way of living and I’m going to go that way,” said Edwards.
The nonprofit also helps those who use the program find jobs to get back on their feet.
When this year’s winter housing program kicked off in November 2019, one person had a job. Now, there are seven people with jobs.