The Wareham Area Clergy Association and three community churches are, for the seventh-straight year, providing shelter for local homeless through their Nights of Hospitality program.
“It was a case where we saw a need and tried to fill it,” said the Rev. David Shaw, pastor of the Emmanuel Church of the Nazarene.
The program runs through March 21, and participating churches provide a hot dinner, an air mattress and bedding, and a hot breakfast to between three and nine men and women each night, with the average of four or five, Shaw said.
The program runs for seven or 14 nights at one of the three churches — the Emmanuel Assembly of God and St. Patrick’s Church are the other hosts — before moving to one of the other churches. Shaw said each of the three churches provides its own meals and mattresses, with some expenses being met from the clergy association fund or private fund-raising for items such as blankets and gloves.
Shaw said those taking refuge tend to be people with longstanding ties to Wareham.
“They are people who grew up here in town or lived here before becoming homeless,” he said. Shaw said some of the more recent guests have been older, including some in their 60s. Shaw saidVolunteers from the Wareham area who would like to help with the overnight stays are welcome to Shaw him at 508-295-9268.