As the Shepherd’s House prepares to embark on its 10th anniversary year, the homeless shelter in Mount Airy recently celebrated another milestone — 100,000 meals served.
Since opening in 2003 the Shepherd’s House has provided shelter, clothing, comfort and food to nearly 1,300 women, children and men. As of the end of November, those people also had been the recipients of 100,224 meals.
“That is such a significant number,” the Rev. Phil Goble Jr., director of the shelter, said Tuesday. “If you look at it historically, it means we have averaged giving out nearly 30 meals a day to those who have stayed within our shelter. That mark could not have been achieved without the support, encouragement and prayers of the people of this county.”
For the first 11 months of this year, the Shepherd’s House provided 9,522 meals to more than 105 women, children and men from more than eight counties in North Carolina and Virginia.
In addition, the Shepherd’s House saw its provision of shelter top 33,000 nights this year. For the first 11 months of 2012, the shelter provided 3,174 nights of shelter to its clients, bringing the historical count to 33,408 nights of shelter since opening in 2003.
“It is just humbling to see those numbers,” said Bob Meinecke, chairman of the board for the Shepherd’s House. “We feel blessed to be able to partner with so many in our community to change the lives of those in need. To be able to provide the basic necessities of food and shelter to a needy family just touches your heart. To see those families find jobs, save money and get back on their feet is just absolutely rewarding. Our community should be proud of what is being done because without that backing, none of these numbers would be possible.”
Through November 2012, the Shepherd’s House has been home to 730 women, 430 children and 113 men in its nine-year history. Of that total, 586 came from Mount Airy. In all, 822 clients have come from Surry County and 101 from Virginia — the two biggest areas to send clients to the shelter. Those clients have received nearly 6,000 hours of casework management, nearly 2,500 hours of counseling, more than 1,500 hours of advocacy and received more than 3,500 referrals to agencies for assistance.
“For almost a decade, the Shepherd’s House has been around to help those who find themselves in times of distress,” Goble said. “Every day, it is fulfilling the dream David Simmons had for a place that helps people emotionally, spiritually and physically. We look forward to partnering with more people, churches and businesses in Surry County and around this area to see that dream continue. There is a love for the Shepherd’s House in this community that is just amazing to see. This shelter is a blessing to many, but it also is blessed to be supported and loved by so many.”
For more information, call Goble at 710-2530 or the Shepherd’s House at 786-1420. Donations can be sent to the shelter at P.O. Box 1722, Mount Airy, NC 27030, or made online through the PayPal button on the Greater Mount Airy Ministry of Hospitality website, gmamh.org.