CULLMAN, Ala. – With colder weather causing issues for individuals and families without consistent housing or shelter, Redemption Church opened a nightly warming center last week to combat the chill. Located at the church (516 Schaeffel Road, Cullman, AL 35055), the center is open every night from 5 p.m. to 7 a.m. with sign-in taking place from 5-9 p.m.
Not just simply a warm place to stay for the night, the center also has snack foods and canned soups, as well as hot beverages (hot chocolate, coffee and tea), available for visitors. Cots, blankets and pillows are also available for overnight stays. In order to comply with COVID-19 restrictions and guidelines, the center performs temperature checks and asks health screening questions of all visitors and keeps all cots spaced 6 feet apart. Cots, blankets and sheets are washed and sanitized daily, and the center is using disposable pillows.
Cheri Seymore, department head of Outreach Ministries for Redemption Church, said the warming center was a ministry that God gave her the vision for long ago.
“Many times, we see people on the street in passing and yet we don’t truly see them,” she commented. “There are so many that live in their vehicles, tents, houses that are barely houses with no means of heat, cooking food or even taking a shower. We want to share the love of Christ through this ministry no matter people’s situation or circumstances.”
Seymore continued, “I’m so thankful for Pastor Rodney Thompson, his wife Pastor Rachel and Redemption Church for sharing my vision and allowing me to serve in this capacity. Our mission statement really says it all. We are committed to being the hands and feet of Jesus Christ while providing temporary shelter and basic needs, as Deuteronomy 15:11 says, ‘For there will never cease to be poor in the land. Therefore, I command you, ‘You shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy and to the poor, in your land.’’ Although this is a temporary shelter, together with God’s blessings and many nonprofit organizations we hope to help those who are less fortunate to find permanent shelter and employment.”
Pastor Rodney Thompson said this project was a vision greatly needed by the community.
“I recently realized that after the sale of some properties, Cullman no longer offered these services,” he said. “I reached out to United Way, who began to help us get things in action. With the help of the Red Cross, we’ve been blessed with cots. We opened Dec. 17, and we have been blessed to be able to help families over the weekend.”
Anyone wishing to help the warming center ministry can donate bedding items like sheets and blankets, snacks and canned foods, or personal hygiene items. Girl Scout Troop 20676 is also holding a blanket and toiletry drive through Jan. 31, 2021. The drop-off location is at the church, or people can contact Seymore for pickup. People in need of the warming center’s services are also encouraged to call or text Seymore or Thompson.
Cheri Seymore: 256-620-0296
Pastor Rodney Thompson: 256-620-0550
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