An Overnight Shelter check-in

There’s something to the feeling of connecting with someone in need, offering a smile, a compassionate glance, an easy ear. A group of Compassionate Winston-Salem volunteers got together tonight and did just that. We met at 7pm at Loaves and Fishes (which is in front of the public library on 5th Street) and handed out blankets and protein bars to the people (residents) waiting in line to check in for overnight shelter arranged by Anthony’s Plot.

It took about an hour to get everyone signed in, and then our group split to go one way towards Augsburg Lutheran, the other to First Baptist to help get the residents settled in for the night.

I’m glad my band of compassionate peeps were able to witness and participate in the settling in of the overnight shelter. For that is when the shelter needs the most help. If you are missing something in your life, and feel that volunteering would fill that void, this organization has plenty of opportunities to supplicate your desire. Here’s how an evening at the overnight shelter typically goes:

7pm – 8pm – Check-in at Loaves & Fishes

7:30pm..ish – the Augsburg Lutheran group heads to their shelter

8pm – First Baptist group heads to their shelter

The next hour is spent getting the residents of the shelter checked in*, they get a pillow, mat, blanket, and any extra amenities they might need during the night (socks, wraps, etc). The residents then picked their spot out on the gymnasium floor, and went about the process of ‘setting up house’. Once everyone had been checked in, and for the most part settled, a call for prayer was announced, and over half the residents got up to join in circle to share their prayer. A lot of camaraderie was felt, conversations were had, smiles shared.

9:30pm – is time for Lights out until 5:30am the next morning.

* The shelter is monitored by two paid staff who stay awake the entire night. These two angels are then assisted by two volunteers* who will “split their shift” so that each can get some shut-eye. This is where Anthony’s Plot needs the most help: They need volunteers willing to ‘work’ a split shift from 8pm – 5:30am. If you are interested and want to help out, please email Rev. Russ May at And get ready to experience an abundance of love, compassion, and just good old fashioned hospitality.

Drea Parker
Compassionate Coordinator

Interfaith Activist:
Wild Garden: Pagans in the Growing Interfaith Landscape

About compassionatews

Think of a giant umbrella. Under that umbrella are all of the programs and acts of compassion that we see – and don’t see – around us in Winston-Salem.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s