Pastor Heather Boone and her husband Britton have devoted their lives to making sure that those that are suffering find comfort; those that feel unloved are loved; those that are hungry are fed; and most of all that they have a warm place to lay their head at night- no matter the circumstances they come from or that they are now faced with. She and her small congregation purchased a building for their church, which was previously used as a warming shelter. Now Oaks of Righteousness, Pastor Boone made the decision to continue operating the warming shelter and quickly realized that people needed much more than just a bed on a cold night. They needed a safe place where they would be treated with dignity, compassion and the love of Christ. After years of commuting for hours to do ministry, the Boones made the sacrifice of selling their nice home and leaving their teenage daughter with friends to complete high school, while they relocated to live among those they serve. Although an extremely difficult decision, Pastor Boone and her husband have made a huge sacrifice and now live in a small office in the church right above the shelter. Their sacrifices didn't just stop with their home and family, but Britton selflessly took a pay cut so he could be more involved in the ministry and work closer to where they live.
As with most churches, it is not equipped for long-term occupancy, but this did not deter or discourage Pastor Boone or her husband, and without complaint they made the sacrifice. Britton showered at work and Pastor Boone showered at the local YMCA until recently when they were blessed with the installation of a shower that they must share with 30-40 homeless people. Although blessed with people donating their time, food, money and/or clothes, the financial burden is more than not assumed by Pastor Boone and Britton. The Boones often use their own money to feed, clothe, and care for anyone that comes to the shelter seeking a safe haven from the streets.
Because they have the heart to serve, no one is rejected, so they are often faced with overcrowding. Everyone sleeps in one room, the fellowship hall on the lower level of the church. On any given night, there can be up to forty people sleeping in the one room. Unfortunately, due to limited space, there is no way to segregate the individuals, so there are women and children, men, singles, married, mentally ill, ex criminals and even those struggling with drug addiction all together in one room. Last winter 303 different people slept in the church and this year since November 220 different people have been there.
Recently, Saint Josephs Church, a Catholic Church, on East Second Street in the next block from Oaks of Righteousness closed its doors as a church. The Archdiocese has put the church, and all its properties up for sale - this includes the church, a parsonage, a school, and a dining hall. Pastor Boone and her congregation have a vision that they can reopen this closed facility and use it as a year round homeless shelter, employment training center and one stop shop for community rebuilding and revitalization. For this “Miracle on Second Street” to be realized, the Oaks of Righteousness Church is in desperate need of funding to purchase this new property and to launch several initiatives that will bridge the gaps in this hurting community. Due to the various stipulations on government funding, other sources are being sought, such as private donations, grants, and the like to be able to continue to provide services that are so desperately needed.
Pastor gives all of herself when ministering to those that have become like family to her. She is the embodiment of self-less service and compassion. She has many volunteers that also do what they can, but a staff is needed, and funding is URGENT at this time to realize these needs.
There is something that can be done! It would be greatly appreciated if you could find it in your heart to give what you can, so that she may help more people and allow them a place to recover, grow, and flourish.
You may visit Oaks of Righteousness Warming
Shelter/Church at 1018 E. Second Street, Monroe, MI 48161
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