Foundry UMC opens doors as warming center for those without electricity, water and food
By Lindsay Peyton
In the Jersey Village neighborhood, north of Houston, the winter storm has left many residents without electricity. At The Foundry UMC, however, the lights and heater were operated without interruption. The congregation opened its doors to help neighbors in need.
“There’s been no power all around us, but we never lost power,” executive pastor Theresa Fauser said. “That’s been an amazing blessing.”
On Sunday, Feb. 14, Cy-Fair Helping Hands, a nonprofit serving the area’s homeless population, contacted The Foundry, asking if the church would consider becoming a shelter.
Fauser said that by 3 p.m. that day, the church was ready. Initially, volunteers served homeless individuals. Area police also started identifying people in need and bringing them to the church.
Then, on Monday, the fire department asked if The Foundry could host area nursing home residents who were without power. “Word got around,” Fauser said.
At times, the church has housed between 40 and 50 guests. Currently, there are 29 people finding temporary shelter there. “As people are able to get power, they transition back to their homes,” Fauser said.
In the meantime, volunteers offer a cot or air mattress and sleeping bag to each guest. Coffee is brewing and snacks are available around the clock.
Restaurants offer hot meals
Church members have donated items to help. In addition, area restaurants also stepped up and brought hot meals to the church once their own power was restored.
Fauser added that the guests in the shelter are comforting each other. “It’s a mix of all walks of life,” she said. “They’re sitting down to meals together, playing cards and helping each other.”
The pastor is grateful that the church has been able to serve those in need. “Being able to listen to people, hear their stories, and do something tangible to help – to sit with them and pray with them – I’ve been more blessed by this than I can say,” Fauser said.