Williamsburg's Homeless & Indigent

P.O. Box 366, Lightfoot, VA 23090
Office: 757-561-3255
"Assisting people in re-gaining hope and a better way of life."

Tuesday, May 06, 2003

"Look Homeward Angel"

When Mom and Dad were in town over the weekend, Mom gave me a card of a ministry that reaches out to others in need in our hometown, Greenville, SC. "They would like to talk to you sometime." Last night, just after I told Geoff my phone calls were finished for the night, I picked up Gina and Rosetta's card and dialed. I truly thought I was finished for the night, but then I was compelled to reach out to them. God meant for us to speak. The call was uplifting, inspiring and wonderful to hear how much they have grown back home. But, better yet, she told me about their struggles in completing their non-profit paperwork and I told them about ours. "We can help. I know the person who can get it done at no cost. I will call him and see what can be done." Yes, God meant for me to call Gina! We continued to talk about our ministries and reching out to those who need us and after she got over the shock of no shelter here, she said "Oh it must be because of the tourism."

When I hung up the phone, I was homesick. I thought about those few emails from people saying "If you miss it so much and have not enjoyed it here, why don't you go back?" (Trust me, these weren't said in kindness or love.) I actually thought about it. But just as Thomas Wolfe wrote "Look Homeward Angel", he also let it be known "You Can't Go Home Again." I know our calling has been to this area. I know this is where God wants us to be. I know there are many who are happy for our move to Williamsburg. And I now know the reason...to help the poor and needy.

Here is some background info on the Downtown Outreach Ministry. For more info, visit their website at Downtown Outreach Ministry
The Downtown Outreach Ministry started in April 1996. After winning their own personal battle with drug addiction, founders Gina Hockaday and Rosetta Britt, saw a need to give back to the communities infested with drugs and poverty. The seed of helping others was planted, and the two have grown a ministry, rooted in the days of when they needed themselves.

It all started in an extra room in Gina's home on Vardry Street. There, she collected used clothing, household goods, appliances, and furniture, knowing there were people in her community needing those very items; this was the beginning of the outreach ministry. What followed included helping the Block Ministry services, working with Magnolia Nursing Homes residents, providing food and shelter for local homeless individuals, assisting with the rehabilitation process of inmates, helping in the Jesse Jackson Townhomes and in the Nicholtown Area, and distributing clothing throughout Greenville and surrounding areas.

In 1998, the Downtown Outreach Ministry had outgrown that one room on Vardry Street and relocated to the Downtown Baptist Church in Greenville. That move provided more opportunities for the Ministry. They began working with the Greenville Summit, Grady Hipp Nursing Center, Greenville Retirement, and Landwood Ridge facilities. These facilities have primarily elderly residents who welcome the close relationships built by members of the Outreach Ministry. Residents enjoy Bible studies, dinner, refreshments, music and Holiday activities provided by the Outreach.

Today, Downtown Outreach Ministry has:

A staff of 14 volunteers
Facilities at both Downtown Baptist Church and
Queen Street Baptist Church


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