HUNTINGTON, Ind. (WFFT) - A Huntington church is about to open their doors to allow the homeless to seek shelter during the winter.
New Life Ministries started with a soup kitchen back in 2007. Their mission has only grown from there.
Now, Pastor Jimi Staton and his staff are putting the finishing touches on the basement shelter.
"In the summer time we get mission teams that come in and they do a lot of work, they serve, they help the community, but in the winter time the beds just stay here," Staton said.
Many of Huntington's homeless population are couch surfers, live out of their cars, or are taking shelter in abandoned buildings.
For many, a warm bed is more than they could ask for.
"We're going to try this and see how it goes from January to February, and then reevaluate and see where we are," he said.
The soup kitchen first opened in 2007 just a couple blocks from the church. Then came the women's shelters.
The new shelter will be open to anyone in need.
It features 20 beds, showers, and a common area. Some of the beds can also be wheeled to separate rooms for women and children.
Ben Kratz, a staff member, said it's a project he felt called to help out with.
"It's a lot of work down here just getting the beds ready and making sure we have bed bug covers, and things that we need in order to run a shelter like this; to run it safely and successfully," he said.
While the congregation is small, with less than 100 people showing up on some Sunday mornings, they say they'll do anything to fight a growing problem.
"It's just something we can help with and I'm glad to do it," Kratz said.
The shelter is expected to open January 3rd.
Donations can be sent to New Life Fellowship Church, 313 E. Franklin Street, Huntington, IN 46750.
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