Dr. Gabe Simpson told the crowd gathered for the dedication ceremony for His Hands and Feet homeless shelter Sunday afternoon, that he hopes those in need will “feel the love of the community ” more than the comfort of the bed or the nourishment of a hot meal.
The outdoor ceremony was held between the new facility at 34 Foundry Hill Road and the Mercy in Me Free Medical Clinic. Ken Rivers and Brad Jenkins opened the event with several gospel songs.
“Today we publicly and corporately dedicate this place, this very dirt, between these two buildings,” said Simpson.
“There’s plenty still to do here, still messes to be made and cleaned up,” said Simpson, “meals to cook and eat.”
Simpson said the new facility is “completely paid for,” making its daily operations feasible. Those staying overnight will be responsible for cooking and cleaning their own meals.
Simpson asked the crowd to not stop coming when all the painting was done, all the grass cut, and all the dishes put away. He asked them to come and share their lunch on the picnic tables, soon to be placed on the grounds, and share their “life by example” with those who need encouragement.
Simpson also said he hopes the new facility will be “more than a homeless shelter. We know the Holy Spirit will be here because his people dwell here.”
A Prayer Garden is planned for the future to take advantage of the huge oaks in the back of the property.
Indoors, rooms originally used as examining rooms for Dr. James “Jim” Thrailkill, have been individually painted, furnished, and decorated by various church groups, organizations, and individuals.
Those visiting the shelter will also be able to use the washer and dryer. Local plumber Ricky Malloy donated his time and expertise to install two showers for facility.
“We want this place to not only shelter people from the rain, but from the sin of the world,” said Simpson.
“A safe place, a sanctuary.”
— Karen Kissiah can be reached at 843-537-5261.