SHALOM’S Biblical Mission Statement
Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each one should use whatever gift they have received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do it with the strength that God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.
1 PETER 4:8-11
Mission Profile: A mission to the homeless
SHALOM came into existence to offer shelter, nourishment and night time lodging to the homeless of Middletown at a time when it was feared that the city’s only homeless shelter would be forced to close. SHALOM is an acronym which stands for Serving the Homeless with Alternate Lodging Of Middletown.
Now entering its twentyfirst year of ministry SHALOM has become a network of local churches of various denominations that “share their bread with the hungry, and bring the homeless poor into their houses”. (Isaiah 58:7). Each week on a rotating basis, a church in the network provides meals and shelter within their own church facilities. At 5pm we transport those in need of shelter from the SHALOM office, which is located in the lower level of the First United Methodist Church at 120 S Broad Street, to the host church. Daily intakes are performed from 4-5pm each and every afternoon of the hosting season. New guests must arrive at 4pm on their initial day of stay. After the initial day guests must arrive no later than 5pm to register for the night. The SHALOM van leaves promptly at 5pm each afternoon for the host church and guests who are not present by 5pm are not permitted to go to the host church unless they are employed and have provided proof of legal employment. All guests are afforded the opportunity to shower, dine, rest and fellowship in a safe and warm environment and at approximately 8am each day our guests are transported back downtown.
Though participating churches have different traditions, worship styles, outreach programs and ministries, they have found common ground in enthusiastically serving the less fortunate and homeless of the community through this shared ministry. It is estimated that hundreds of church members and concerned citizens participate or contribute resources to make this ministry a success.
When a new guest comes to SHALOM for shelter, a written list of policies is provided so that each guest knows exactly what is expected of them during their stay at SHALOM. Each person receives a supply of personal care/hygiene items and a container for their personal items. Social workers meet weekly to interview and advise each guest on how to apply for assistance that might empower them to become self sufficient. This assistance may be in the form of medical care, food stamps, clothing, employment or housing. Some guests may require assistance in all of these areas, while others may need only a little encouragement and help to overcome their unfortunate situations.
Originally under the leadership of Roy & Pat Ickes SHALOM first hosted homeless guests in October 2002 at the First United Methodist Church in downtown Middletown, Ohio. Since its original inception numerous area churches have assisted with sheltering our homeless guests through the years.
SHALOM is a shining example of how churches, people of faith and community organizations can work together despite any, and all, differences to impact the lives of those who may be homeless or less fortunate.