Winter Shelter

Warm Nights is a cooperative program among the Laurel area churches, synagogues and the Laurel Advocacy and Referral Service (LARS) to provide shelter for homeless men and women during the winter months.

The program is governed by five volunteers from the collective group of religious organizations who set the rules, regulations, and structure of the shelter. The governing body representative for First UMC is Weldon Lincoln, a former participant in the shelter program, who is now employed and off the streets.

The collective group provides shelter, dinner, breakfast, snacks, and lunch for the program participants. Additionally, the collective group offers the ability to obtain medical care, identification cards, social security benefits, education, and job skills through LARS, Grass Roots, and New Day. There is a great opportunity for spiritual counsel and growth as well.

First UMC has participated in this ministry since 1990 and will continue to participate in order to meet the needs of our homeless brothers and sisters. Warm Nights is an opportunity for all members of the church to minister to those in an unfortunate circumstance. Each collective group offers a different living and learning environment. At First UMC, we offer a family experience with the overall mission to end homelessness one person at a time while spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ.  

Men and women volunteer to serve as greeters for registration (6:30-8:30 p.m.), night time monitors (8:30 p.m. to 7 a.m.), and dinner fellowship (5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.). The dinners are provided by various groups from within the church as well as other organizations who support our mission. If you would like to offer to support our shelter guests in any manner, such as, haircuts, clothing, employment training, or shelter supplies (soap, towels, razors, shampoo) please contact our coordinators.

For additional information about Winter Shelter at First UMC of Laurel, please contact Russ Wilson (Men’s Coordinator) or Bev Raynor (Women’s Coordinator) or the Church Office (