JAMESTOWN, NY (WNY News Now) — For the past two months, a City of Jamestown church has been catering to a vital need, operating a Code Blue warming center for those who need it.
The Joy Fellowship Free Methodist Church on 7th Street is one of two emergency homeless shelters in Jamestown that opened their doors in response to the growing homeless population.
“Something that was on our hearts for a long time was to try to help our community, especially our neighborhood,” explained Reverend Mario Angeli.
Local religious officials sprung into action with coordination from city leaders.
“Functionally, I think we’re at about eight. We do gear for singles but we were looking for homeless families that have come in and used our facilities,” Rev. Angeli said.
Unlike the shelter at the Gateway Center on Water Street, the Methodist Church’s smaller footprint provided for an easier setup with operations starting this past December.
“We’ve been transformed by our experience with the individuals who have come here. Everything that you think you know about people who live without an address, you really should just throw away,” said Reverend Dodi McIntyre.
The Joy Fellowship Free Methodist Church shelter holds up to eight individuals, catering mostly to families. Another shelter, operated by the Mental Health Association, holds 20 at max capacity.
The shelter is currently seeking volunteers and donations, to help out you can contact the program coordinator Heidi LeBarron at (716) 489-1697 or visit the church’s website: jamestownfmc.org.