Local nonprofit aims to keep homeless safe during winter

JACKSON, Tenn. — Every year as it gets cold, Area Relief Ministries provides a warm place for homeless men to stay, calling it “Room in the Inn” — and this year is no different.

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“We’re helping a lot of people right now with less funding,” said Mike Roby, executive director for Area Relief Ministries.

Their ministry is the only non-profit dedicated to serving homeless people in Jackson. Currently, they can only serve 15 people a night.

“When it gets cold, there will be guys lined up around the corner here, approximately 40 guys,” Roby said. “If we have to turn them away, they could freeze to death. They do. Three or four a year do.”

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Roby says because of the pandemic, churches that typically host Room in the Inn are declining to participate.

“We had 15 churches pull out of participating, out of our 40 churches. It’s really left us struggling to make sure there’s shelter every night,” Roby said.

Roby says thankfully, three churches have stepped up to help fill that gap: First Methodist, City Fellowship, and Mother Liberty. But they still need your help to feed the men staying with them.

“Really all we need on those nights is food for 15 people, for dinner and for breakfast, and if they can’t do that, just a donation of $100 would cover each night for food,” Roby said.

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Roby says your donation could mean the difference between life and death for people in need this winter.

“I encourage people who are making end-of-year gifts to make them now, especially to Area Relief Ministries,” Roby said.

If you would like to help, click here.

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