By Pat Roper
Twenty-two years ago I visited San Francisco and saw homelessness like I had never seen before. It was then I made a promise to God that I would make helping those experiencing homelessness my commitment to Him.
I started by doing laundry, providing meals, hosting dinners and staying overnight on host weeks at my church, First United Methodist Church in Cary. After a few years, I became part of the core team, setting up for families on Sunday when they arrived and tearing down the following Sunday when they left, in addition to helping during the week. Then around 12 years ago, the coordinator left, and I took over that position. I am blessed to have inherited an absolutely amazing group of dedicated volunteers who all believe in the value of this program as much as I do.
FUMC Cary has been hosting families since Family Promise opened its doors 24 years ago, and we typically host four times per year. The churches, including mine, which provide emergency shelter for our families are the first stop on their journey to finding stable, affordable permanent housing.