A Pastor to the Homeless

“This past year each county was mandated to come up with a place for the homeless to go to when there is a Blue Code given due to the weather. The police are responsible for getting the people out of the cold, but we are responsible for feeding them.

“Many from the community are coming together to help these people, from churches, to people from the Jewish community who have donated food, to Paul Hulse from Haven in Toms River who is helping to take care of the people in here.

“There are so many stories here. From people who got released from prison, people with mental illness or substance abuse problems, to prostitutes, or women who are victims of domestic violence, or diabetics with no heat or electricity. Every person here has a story. We have white people, black people, orange, green, purple. There is no discrimination with homelessness.

“What I want people who are warm in their homes to understand about the people who come here for shelter is, ‘There, but for the grace of God go I.’ These situations and these stories can happen to anybody, anyone’s family member. It could be your children, or your brothers or sisters.

“It is almost inhumane that we don’t have a shelter in Ocean County. This warming center is only open when it is below freezing. They have to go back to where they are from when the temperatures go back above freezing. I don’t know how a lot of these people are going to get around when they are sent back out there when the Blue Code is done.”

~ Pastor Marsha, center-right. (POTJS Note: As the temps plunged below zero Saturday night, I visited a warming center in Lakewood, spearheaded by Pastor Marsha. More than 50 homeless people were kept warm and safe. This past week I shared stories from people I met at the shelter. Please read comments below where I will link the previous stories. This post concludes this series. Thank you for reading.)

Homeslessness in the USA Portraits of the Jersey Shore 

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