Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Good Stuff in TEC: Warming Center adopts open door policy

From Kentucky-

Organizers of a warming center ministry in Murray have revised their policies from the ground up, with hopes of making it easier to stay warm this winter.

A more “open door” policy will greet anyone needing a place to stay during the cold winter months ahead, and the center itself has been relocated from First United Methodist Church to St. John's Episcopal Church on Main Street.

“We wanted to revise the policy and started with what was the most ‘open door' but still allowed us to host. St. John's insurance company was the most flexible with the policy,” said Matt Bradley, priest at St. John's Episcopal Church.

The center is open nightly from 6 p.m. to 8 a.m. No pre-registration is required and while the doors are locked at 11 p.m., Bradley said someone will answer the door for late arrivals. Smokers are welcome but must step outside to smoke. If anyone arrives at the center appearing intoxicated, they will be given the option of going straight to bed or leaving the center. A hot dinner meal will be served, and breakfast will also be provided. In the past, organizers asked for pre-registration and kept the doors locked after a certain point in the night, along with having a stricter policy on intoxicated persons.

“The only thing we ask is that you surrender any weapons on you at the door. We'll lock them up and give them back the next day. We also will have a male and female volunteer staying the night,” Bradley said.

With a looser policy, Bradley said he and the other sponsoring churches are not worried about incidents arising. Anyone appearing physically or verbally aggressive will be asked to leave.

More here-


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