A Night's Welcome

A Night's Welcome is a Winter Shelter program for the homeless sponsored by H.E.L.P. The program, managed by Hampton Roads Ecumenical Lodging and Provisions, works in tandem with local congregations, who provide shelter space for dozens of individuals who need a hot meal and place to sleep for the night during the colder winter months.

This year we will be in one location and volunteers from the local churches will provide dinner, breakfast, and overnight assistance.

There are many volunteer opportunities to serve our homeless community this year! Please continue to read the documents in the "A Night's Welcome" drop down & ask God how He can use you to serve in this very special program.

OPPORTUNITIES TO SERVE Nov. 2020 - Mar. 2021

This year’s A Night’s Welcome will look a little different than years’ past. We will be in one location for the duration of the program and your church will be hosting shelter for onenight/morning each month (for example, Monday night into Tuesday morning) with the hopes that it’s much easier to staff one night/morning a month rather than an entire week.

Our first and most important priority is the safety and health of our guests, volunteers, and staff. We have had to make some significant changes to our program this year in light of the COVID-19 response. This means we are trying to limit the number of people in and around the shelter to lessen the chances of spreading COVID-19. HELP has a large stock of PPE, face masks, hand sanitizer, sanitizers and disinfectants, and other precautionary measures available and in place. Every person entering the shelter will be screened for symptoms (questionnaire), have their temperature taken, and be required to, the very least, wear a mask at all times.

Physical distancing will be required and volunteers will receive information on how to stay safe at our shelter prior to serving. We absolutely need your church to be part of our program and we will do everything we can to ensure your members are safe at our facility. With that in mind, here are a few changes:

The logistics surrounding meals will be much different this year. To help limit the number of volunteers physically present at the shelter and crammed into a small kitchen, we are asking that churches prepare meals at their own facilities and bring the prepared food to the shelter for packaging and distributing. Some volunteers will be needed to package and distribute, but far less than the number needed to do all things physically at the shelter site. Dinner meals will be distributed for service on-site in the evenings; Breakfast meals will be provided to-go as guests leave the building.

Because of the enormous amount of trash that will be created by our meal system this year, HELP is planning to purchase biodegradable containers, cups, bowls, and cutlery. While this is an added expense, we do see the need to care for all of God’s creation as we care for those experiencing homelessness. HELP will provide all containers needed for the dinner meal service and morning coffee. To help cover this cost, we are asking that our partner churches donate $80 per meal for the product needed ($400 total for the season).

We will be limiting guest movement as much as possible and will, therefore, be eliminating any kind of programming for guests in the evenings. We are offering only basic services this year while trying to maintain our normal welcoming and helpful environment.

Here are the volunteer roles we are responible to fill:

Check-In Volunteers (3)--these volunteers will be present from 5:30 PM to 9 PM and will assist with check-in logistics, directing individuals to their specific sleeping areas, helping with directing guests to meals (in shifts), and assisting with handing out bedding and supplies to new guests.

Dinner Meal Prep Volunteers (as needed)--these volunteers will prepare the evening meal at your church or another facility. Because of our need to reduce the number of people present at the shelter site, we must have meals prepared off-site and brought to the church for serving.

Churches can plan to bring the meal components pre-cooked and ready to serve to the site by 6 PM. An oven and stove are available for warming purposes only.

Dinner Meal Service Volunteers (up to 4)--we ask that no more than 4 volunteers from your church come to the site to serve the evening meal. This will be done in a closed kitchen and meals will be set out one at a time for individual guests to pick up. We are taking all precautions to limit the spread of COVID-19 in the shelter.

Overnight Volunteers (4)--these volunteers will provide overnight watch for the shelter and ensure there are no issues that arise. Because the church is not your own, we will have a HELP employee present at the facility overnight as well. Overnight volunteers will be responsible for ensuring that everyone is following the outlined rules and regulations. Two men and two women make the job much easier and will allow for shifts and for two people to sleep at a time. Cots will be provided, but volunteers will need to bring their own linens and pillows.

Breakfast Meal Prep Volunteers (as needed)--these volunteers will prepare the breakfast meal at your church or another facility. Because of our need to reduce the number of people present at the shelter site, we must have meals prepared off-site and brought to the church for serving. Breakfast meals will be served as a to-go option only. Please provide breakfast as a bagged meal with all components fitting inside a single bag for easy distribution.

Breakfast Service Volunteers (up to 2)--we ask that no more than 2 volunteers from your church come to the site to hand out the breakfast meal. This will be done near the front exit of the shelter and individual bags will be given out to guests upon exit. We are taking all precautions to limit the spread of COVID-19 in the shelter.

Our staff and board are committed to ensuring that our brothers and sisters experiencing homelessness have a safe place to sleep throughout the winter and we need your help to ensure this season is no different. Please voice your concerns and questions as soon as they arise. Let’s continue to be the hands and feet of Christ to our community in need in the safest way possible.

LCC will be responsible for the following nights:

  • November 28, 2020
  • December 26, 2020
  • January 23, 2021
  • February 27, 2021
  • March 27, 2021

Below are Volunteer Opportunities: (see document on Church Volunteers Needs to see each Team's responsibilities). This sign up sheet is on church bulletin board in Welcome Center. If you are not currently attending, see contact information below.

Welcome Team/ Check In Team

(Please be present from 5:30pm - 9:00pm at the Sunday school building)




Dinner Team/ prepare and serve meal

(Please arrive at 6pm at the fellowship hall and begin serving the meal at 6:30pm)





Overnight Team

( Please arrive at the Sunday school building at 8:30pm, and remain there until 7:00am the day)

MALES 1. 2.


Breakfast Team/ prepare and distribute meal

( Please arrive by 6:30am and hand out “to go” bags as the guests are leaving for the day)




Location site:  Central (Hampton) United Methodist Church


Chapel Street: (Chapel St. is where to park if serving meals. Follow sign to Fellowship Hall. The fellowship hall is located downstairs).

  • Follow Settlers Landing Road into downtown Hampton
  • Turn left on N. Armistead Avenue
  • Take the first right onto Chapel Street

Lee Street: (Lee St. is where to park if serving on the welcome team or as an overnight volunteer. Follow sign to Sunday School building).

Take the second right onto Lee Street


Any Questions? Want to Sign Up to Volunteer?

Contact either Michelle or Jim

Michelle Bowen 757-513-6108/ micbo@cox.net

Jim Weeks 479-328-8186/ weeksjimbo@gmail.com