Three times a year, Zionsville United Methodist Church opens its doors to homeless families, providing food and shelter for a week. The church does so as part of a program through which Indianapolis-area churches take turns hosting families, organized centrally by Family Promise of Greater Indianapolis.
These week’s require a team effort, which at ZUMC means about 60 people. Church members divide up the tasks, from driving the program’s van to and from downtown Indianapolis in the morning and evening each day, fixing evening meals, organizing fun activities for kids and sleeping overnight at the church to help in case of need.
Churches need to have some basic facilities, such as a place to play, Sunday school rooms that can be converted to dorm rooms and a place to eat. Showers are also important.
The program creates an opportunity for churches to show love to homeless families. In many cases the parents in the program have recently started new jobs they hope will allow them to ultimately find stable housing. The kids attend school, but in the evening, it’s fun and games.
Family Promise needs to recruit congregations to fill a gap of 17 weeks in 2017. Learn more at familypromiseindyihn.org. (Photos by Brad Thompson)