The 11th season of the Grassroots cold weather shelter program is underway and will run through March 30. The cold weather shelter program, housed in Howard County’s faith communities, is provided for people who are unable to find emergency shelter when Grassroots is full.
Last year, 70 people participated in the Cold Weather Shelter program, including 12 children. Shelter participants receive additional services during their stay, including assistance with food stamps, medical assistance, case management referrals, preparing resumes and tax returns and getting a social security card.
This year, 16 local churches are hosing the shelter for one or two weeks. Church volunteers provide meals, transportation, clothes, medicine and laundry services, and Grassroots provides on-site staff, management and coordination.
This year’s participating congregations are Atholton Seventh Day Adventist Church, Bethany United Methodist Church, Bridgeway Community Church, Christ Memorial Presbyterian Church, Columbia Community Church, Covenant Baptist Church, First Presbyterian Church of Howard County, Glen Mar United Methodist Church, Grace Community Church, Kittamaqundi Community Church, Linden-Linthicum United Methodist Church, Owen Brown Interfaith Center, St. John Baptist Church, St. John Evangelical Lutheran Church, St. Paul’s Catholic Church and Temple Isaiah.
Grassroots operates Howard County’s only emergency shelter for homeless men, women and families and the Grassroots Day Resource Center. In addition, the nonprofit operates a 24-hour crisis intervention service, staffed by professional crisis counselors who field calls to its 24-hour hotline and see walk-in clients in need of immediate counseling. As part of its crisis intervention services, Grassroots operates the county’s Mobile Crisis Team, which responds to family emergencies.
Grassroots is located on Freetown Road in Columbia. For information, call 410-531-6006, or visit www.grassrootscrisis.org.