Offering a helping hand when people need it most, that’s who Laura Stephens is. When the Interfaith Shelter closed after three positive COVID-19 cases, she knew she had to do something.
“With my passion for homelessness and my understanding of it I just kind of got into gear with JCAN, and decided that I knew how to do this, and I was willing to do it, and in nine days we were able to create a shelter that’s now currently housing 23 people,” said Program Manager at Home of New Vision, Laura Stephens.
To make this happen, Calvary United Methodist church opened its doors for the next two months.
“Donations, and the opportunity that has been presented to us through the community has been overwhelming,” said Stephens.
The people staying here get three meals a day, and access to several programs, like housing, and rehabilitation.
For Laura’s teammates working beside her around the clock, it’s the stories they see up close that inspires them.
“I got a guy with a grocery cart yesterday that couldn’t get up the hill, him, and his wife, and she’s got broken bones all over, and so we actually took her in our own vehicles, and loaded all their stuff up out of the cart, and they are here, and they are safe. They were crying last night that they were so happy,” said Board of Directors member for Jackson Harm Reduction, Tracie Jo Sutliff.
This is a challenging time for so many people that walk through these doors. Laura says, she’s learned so much about what can be done when a community stands together in the face of crisis.
“We can do anything if we come together. We can fulfill the needs of our community as a group,” said Stephens.
For more information on how to get involved with the Home of New Vision dial 211 to get connected.