You may have heard effective March 31 Christ Ministry Center will close our immigrant shelter. We want our friends and supporters know we will continue (and enlarge) our immigrant welcoming ministry through Safe Harbors Network.
What happened? A visit from the Fire Marshall. Our zoning does not allow us to operate a shelter with the number of people who are here. To bring our facility up to code and rezone would be prohibitive financially and require a lengthy rezoning process, with no guarantee. The Fire Marshall’s office has been working with us to make our building as safe and secure as possible, but at best, with an “Amended Means and Measures”, we would be allowed to operate only for a short time more. Therefore, we made the decision to voluntarily close the shelter by the end of the month, giving us time to attempt to locate alternative shelter for our guests.
What next? Christ Ministry Center is turning to Safe Harbors Network to increase the capacity of beds for longer term refugees in our community. Safe Harbors is a coalition of congregations, homes, and individuals willing to open their doors to refugees for a defined period We have three congregations ready to “come online” in the next month or so, with an estimated capacity of 30 or more beds. In addition, we have proposed a plan to operate a remote camp with over 120 beds as a combination immigrant and homeless shelter.
Conclusion: CMC is NOT ending its migrant ministry. We will have an even greater capacity to help migrants on their journey through the growing Safe Harbors Network than was possible at Christ Ministry Center.
Thank you for your continued prayers and support as we make this transition.
Dr. Bill Jenkins, Director
Christ Ministry Center