Open Door of Hope, a Men’s Shelter in Shelbyville, is sponsoring “A Homeless Experience” on Friday, September 16 from 7 p.m. – 7:00 a.m. The experience will be held on the parking lot of the Shelby County Library, which is next door to the shelter. Cost to participate is $30 to rent a box to sleep in for the night. Participants are asked to bring only a few necessities and to leave ipods, dvd players, etc. at home. Cell phones may be used for emergencies only.
What does it mean to be homeless? What is it like to sleep in a box? These are questions that most of us hope to never quite understand, yet this is reality for many. Open Door of Hope provides nightly shelter for 10+ men. Men check in at 7 p.m., have a Bible study, then have supper. Meals are provided by local churches.
The Eliza Broadus Offering provided a Special Ministry grant to Open Door of Hope this past year. Rev. Lee Bean, former pastor of Dover Baptist Church in Shelbyville, is the director. Lee felt God’s calling to this ministry and during his time at Dover worked to develop the ministry. He resigned his pastorate to become the full-time director. He is now the interim pastor of Victory Baptist Church, a downtown church on Main Street in Shelbyville.
The facility for Open Door of Hope is a house which is being renovated for the ministry. The shelter is in the basement level of the house and provides a safe place to sleep for men 18 years and older. The program works with the men to help them with employment, transportation, and other services.
Upper floors are being renovated to house a drug and alcohol treatment program for those who want to break the cycle of these addictions.
The Homeless Experience will include a meal, music, and fellowship with others who care about the homeless. Participants may also raise pledges over and above the base rent to support the work of Open Door of Hope. To learn more about this ministry, go to: http://www.opendoorofhopeky.com.