Local Churches Provide Shelter for Homeless Men - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Local Churches Provide Shelter for Homeless Men

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SALISBURY, Md. - For the next three months, homeless men in Wicomico County won't have to worry about going hungry or finding a warm place to sleep.

Local churches across the area are hosting The Community Emergency Shelter Project, where churches provide shelter for homeless adult males only.

The program started Friday at Wesley Temple in Salisbury. The church will host the homeless until Jan. 10. Cross Pointe Church of the Nazarene will open its doors the week after. The location of each shelter will change weekly.   

Eugene Cox, 59, came out to Wesley Temple's shelter Friday. He arrived early to claim a bed. The facility holds up to 30 people. Organizers accept the men on a first come, first serve basis. Cox has been out of a job and homeless for a year.

"It's really harsh out there. You've got the hot weather; you've got the cold weather. I'm just surviving, just taking one day at a time," Cox said. "I just thank God that I'm able to survive."

Cox worked as a plumber before business slowed down, and he was laid off. He lived with his mother when it happened. She died last year. Cox said the bills became too much to handle.

"I just took it hard. I got family and everything but I try to deal with it without dealing with my family. It's so hard out there," Cox said.

Volunteers under 'The Community Emergency Shelter Project' said the program has been around for nearly a decade. More than a dozen churches participate each year. Wesley Temple has been involved in the effort for eight years. Coordinator Monica Vickers says the men look forward to it.

"There are no shelters that cater directly to men and many of the men are living in camps in the woods," Vickers said.  "When we are in operation from the first Saturday in January to the last Saturday in March, we get those men in here."

Church leaders transformed their previous sanctuary into a shelter. Thirty cots filled the space. Each man gets a hygiene kit when they arrive. The church bus picks them up from HALO in Salisbury. The men get breakfast, lunch and dinner.  

Cox is thankful for the help.

"If it weren't for these shelters, I don't know what I would do," Cox said.

The Community Emergency Shelter Project runs from Jan. 4 until March 28.

Click here for the schedule.

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