Double-digit wind gusts, flood warnings and an increasingly dim power grid didn’t deter workers and one dedicated volunteer from serving a hot dinner to homeless men and women in Silver Spring Monday evening.
Shepherd’s Table, a resource center for people without homes in downtown Silver Spring, opened its doors Oct.29, day one of what is predicted to be a —just as the nonprofit has done every night for nearly 30 years.
“We serve a meal seven nights a week,” Executive Director Jacki Coyle explained. “We’ve never, ever missed a meal.”
Most nights, Coyle’s staff of employees and volunteers serve up meals to 140 to 160 people. Tonight, that number was just 27, but she said the effort was much-appreciated.
“They’re 27 very hungry people, several who have walked in out of the rain,” Coyle said.
Some of the organization’s regulars boarded a Montgomery County-provided bus earlier Monday to Rockville’s Gude Men’s, one of two homeless shelters open during the storm. The second is Progress Place at 8210 Colonial Lane in Silver Spring.
Shepherd’s Table has made provisions to keep serving meals and offering a place to stay for homeless people in Silver Spring.
“If we lose power we have batteries here, we have cold food in our refrigerator ready to serve if we can’t cook food,” Coyle said. “We have two grills, so tomorrow if we lose power, we can heat up the grills and cook on them.
“We’ll make it happen,” she said.
Some staff members are also prepared to bunk in Silver Spring so they’ll be ready to serve tomorrow, Coyle said. Overnight, Shepherd’s Table’s building, at 8210 Dixon Ave., will be open to men who didn’t go to Gude Men’s and women. The staff of Community Vision of Interfaith Works, a nonprofit in Silver Spring, ran the overnight shelter for homeless people during Hurricane Sandy.
“Any person who’s without a home and needs a place to stay can be here tonight,” Coyle said.
Editor's Note: We'd like to also recognize Community Vision. This nonprofit provided breakfast and lunch to homeless men and women in Silver Spring Monday prior to Hurricane Sandy and opened back up Tuesday following the storm.
The program routinely provides meals as well as basic services and case management to homeless people in Silver Spring. They also operate a night shelter from November to April.