Raleigh DeShazo Volunteers with CARITAS Shelter Program
Raleigh DeShazo recently volunteered with CARITAS shelter program. He stayed overnight at his church, Cambridge Baptist Church, with several homeless people and made them dinner, breakfast the next morning, and packed lunches for their day. Cambridge Baptist Church participates in the shelter program helping those who experience homelessness.
The guests stay overnight at the church. The way CARITAS works is they bring the homeless group to the participating church around 5pm each night. The hosting church feeds them dinner, offers a place to shower and a place to sleep for the night, feeds them breakfast in the morning, and packs a lunch for them for the day. His church hosted families for a week, so he also set up play time activities for the kids.
Raleigh says: “I’ve been serving dinners and staying overnight with the guests for two nights. CARITAS provides a chaperone who supports the guests. My responsibility during my overnight stays is to serve as the church representative for the guests and chaperone, get breakfast ready by 5am, pack the lunches, and clean up after breakfast. The guests are picked up every morning at 6:30am and taken to the Caritas day center.
I think we are hosting about 40 total people this week – mostly moms and children, two dads, and some grandmas.
Some are in very desperate situations.”
CARITAS volunteers serve those experiencing homelessness and facing addiction in Richmond by working through the CARITAS Shelter, Furniture Bank, Works Program, and The Healing Place.
CARITAS is Richmond’s largest emergency shelter, sheltering up to 110 people per night, and over 1,000 people annually. We provide over 90% of the shelter beds available to single women. The hard work of 15,000 volunteers and 155 host congregations creates a safe and hospitable place for our most vulnerable citizens.
Upon entering CARITAS, guests find not only the necessities for survival — they find the tools for success. Through the growing web of CARITAS volunteers, staff, and agency partners, guests get the help they need to get off the street, back on their feet, and on the path to self-sufficiency.