Part One: The Good Samaritan
When I first walked in the doors of the Good Samaritan House (GSH) in London, KY I saw a sign that read 'salvation' and a preacher's pulpit. GSH is London, KY's homeless shelter. Since starting Redeemed and needing to choose a place to donate my first bundle of sales, I've decide that place is GSH. Three percent of all of Redeemed's sales since launching and through the month of June will be donated there.
When I called the shelter for some info, Dorothy, one of the director's, asked if I wanted to come in and speak with her. I definitely didn't say no. I don't think I've ever been so excited to be somewhere before 9am in my life (not a morning person but, I try). Dorothy and her husband Ken are the directors of GSH and have been since 2016. The shelter also has six board members which include Claude Gilbert Jr, Claude Gilbert III, Jim Claud, Vernon Jarvis, Roy Faulkner, and Orie Hyde. They are each men of God that belong to different Christian denominations.
Dorothy said the shelter is 100% community ran and that they receive no funds from the federal or state level. She made it clear that they wanted it that way because it makes it easier for them to carry out their mission of spreading the word of Jesus to the residents. For instance, if they were state or federally funded they may not be able to have church as many times a week as they wanted. Before becoming a resident, Dorothy and her husband make sure future residents understand that they will work, eat, sleep, save their money, and hear about Jesus.
There are four requirements to become a resident of GSH.
1. They must be a KY resident for at least 1 year with an ID.
2. They have to have a warrant check (different than background check).
3. Must have a 10 panel drug test performed and that does include marijuana.
4. Once they become a resident they have to have a job within 7 days.
In addition, GSH makes sure their residents have breakfast, lunch, and dinner everyday. If they need lunch for when they go to work, they provide that too. Each resident has chores to carry out within the shelter. Most weeks they have church several times. They invite churches to come in and have service and usually those churches will provide a meal. Dorothy said, every Wednesday Saint Joseph Hospital of London provides a meal which I think is something special. How many community hospitals do that for their homeless shelters? Probably, not enough. When talking to Dorothy about the volunteers, that lend a hand for the shelter, I could just see the gratitude on her face and how much it means to her and the residents.
If you are looking to donate to GSH and are unsure of what their needs are you can always check their Facebook (FB) page. When they have an immediate need they will usually post about it. Dorothy says many times they will have a need and before she can post on FB God will provide and someone will show up with it. According to Dorothy they need different things at different times times, but, they can always use cleaning products (bleach/detergent) and food. Milk and cheese is often needed the most because they use it everyday. They could also always use non perishable items and farm fresh goods. My Mom always use to call before she donated to make sure it was needed but Dorothy said you don't have to call beforehand. If you would like to volunteer, stop by the shelter, fill out a volunteer sheet, and ask for Dorothy. The address is 220 East 4th Street London, KY.
In the little time I spent with Dorothy I seen first hand how great of a service her and Ken are providing the community of London by helping those who walk through their doors. She said she wanted no recognition but that it was all for God's Glory. I learned a lot about her testimony and her walk with Jesus that led her to running a homeless shelter. She also asked if I wanted to interview two residents and of course I think I said, "I would love to!". In part 2 of the Good Samaritan I will talk about Dorothy's testimony and the two residents I spoke with, Steve and Terrell. Both of whom have me excited to want to go back and volunteer. If you have any questions or have thoughts about this post please leave me a comment or share the post on FB. The more love you give this post the bigger the possibility there is to help GSH! In the meantime, shop Redeemed and support GSH of London, KY. Stay tuned for part 2!