One day a woman had an encounter with a homeless man, and this encounter created a spark in the woman. This spark illuminated to those around, including David Simmons and Berta Glenn, who took it upon themselves to take action. What started out as a few simple conversations during church led to the founding of the Greater Mount Airy Ministry of Hospitality, better known as “The Shepherds’ House” (TSH). In 2003, The Shepherd’s House opened up its doors of Hope to provide emergency shelter and hospitality for single women and families. The board and staff are looking towards the future and seeks to be a leading partner in ensuring no person in our community must ever spend a night on the streets, or in any other uninhabitable living environment, because he or she cannot find, or cannot afford safe housing.
“When I first got there, I was honestly confused and lost. You go through that, “How can this happen to me?” Not to mention I kept getting shut down on every avenue I tried to take. Regardless of the obstacle and the results, The Shepherd’s House always stayed on me and made sure that I was doing what was in the best interest of me and my kids, and they were always there for me. My depression was a big hindrance to my development as a person looking for a meaning to life. The Shepherd’s House helped me find meaning. Before, I was the type of guy to sleep in until 12pm and not feel like doing much the rest of the day. But after? To wake up every morning and have responsibilities, a goal in place, and people to support me really pushed me to do better and I finally feel like my life is worth living. The icing on the cake? They were able to gift a car to me that was donated to them. With that car, I was able to take my kids to the park, make it to all of my doctor’s appointments, and overall it was just a huge relief for me. I am forever grateful!”
Our Future Home
Located right behind our current shelter, we are in the process of building a new, larger facility to accommodate more clients. Our mission is to end homelessness, and while this mission might seem unrealistic to some people, we can definitely do our part to put a dent in the number of people experiencing homelessness on any given night. Our current facility has 18 beds, and in 2018 alone we had to turn away 455 people due to lack of space. Our new facility will hold 48 beds, giving us the ability to serve 2.6 times more clients than we are currently able to! With a larger facility, we will be able to serve more clients, expand our current programs, and offer new programs to better serve a broader population of the clients that walk through our doors of hope.