NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – With temperatures expected to dip into the 30s Friday night, warming shelters across the Lowcountry, like Aldersgate United Methodist Church in North Charleston, will be available for people who need a warm place to stay.
The doors to the shelter will be open to guests from 7:00-9:00 p.m. Friday evening.
“We do a COVID screening when folks arrive,” Aldersgate United Methodist Church pastor Erik Grayson said. “We work with MUSC and they have been fantastic to provide that service for us. We go over the rules, the policies for the shelter.”
Guests are then assigned their beds for the night.
“Every guest is given a hot shower,” Grayson said. “A trip to our clothes closet. We provide a hot dinner, an optional devotional. We provide a to-go breakfast and lunch usually the next day and a warm safe place to spend the night.”
Pastor Grayson says it’s important for Aldersgate to build a rapport with the community they serve.
“The church feels very called to our local community,” Grayson said. “This is a community with a lot of homelessness, unemployment, lot of transients. And so we felt like the church really needs to be an expression of good news where we’re located. And so this is one way we can be good news to our community.”
The church is always looking to expand its outreach.
“If folks want to volunteer or donate,” Grayson said. “Either of those things are tremendously helpful.”
The pastor says he enjoys making a difference in people’s lives.
“The gospel is meant to make a tangible difference in people’s lives,” he said. “It’s supposed to make a noticeable change in how we live; to help alleviate suffering. And so, if we can’t do that, why are we here? But, we’re able to do that in really direct ways and build those relationships at the same time. I love getting to do it.”