Area Relief Ministries works to serve the homeless community during the winter months

JACKSON, TN (WNBJ) - As temperatures in the hub city decrease and colder weather creeps in, some say one of the most vulnerable groups in the city is the homeless.

One local community organization will soon be starting its annual homeless shelter initiative in Jackson.

Area Relief Ministries is one community service group that is working to help those seeking shelter during the winter months.

Room in the Inn is our homeless shelter program for homeless men here in Jackson, TN, or surrounding countries. It’s a shelter where we partner with churches,” said Fred McKinnie, Dir. of Operations with Area Relief Ministries.

Room in the Inn is a homeless shelter program that is an initiative organized by Area Relief Ministries that provides shelter to men.

Area Relief Ministries partner with local churches to house individuals seeking shelter in participating churches’ facilities.

“We have learned over the years that the experiences are life-changing for them as well as for the clients. So, a lot of times you think you are serving the clients, but a lot of the time our volunteers find out it’s really helping them. So, they get so many rewards out of serving,” said McKinnie.

One of the board members at A.R.M. and church coordinators at Campbell Street Church of Christ in Jackson says the weather is a big stressor for those who are homeless.

“The weather is turning now, and it is really nice and beautiful outside. For most of us, that’s pumpkins, time with family, football, and those kinds of things, but for our homeless community this is a time that they start having a lot of anxiety around weather issues,” said Brad Franks, the Area Relief Ministries Board Member and Church Coordinator at Campbell Street Church of Christ.

Franks also says this is a great opportunity for the local churches to open their doors to the local community.

“Our churches are empty probably 90 percent of the time and our homeless community is homeless 100 percent of the time, so it is a really good match for us to open the doors. I think this is the mission we all have been given is to love our neighbor and these are neighbors who are often overlooked by the made channels of society, so this is exactly what churches are meant to do,” said Franks.

The Room in the Inn will start assigning men to shelters on a first-come, first-serve basis starting November 1st through April 30th.

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