For our area that certainly rings true with the formation of the Waynesboro Area Refuge Ministry otherwise known as WARM. WARM was founded in 2011 in response to a tragic murder that occurred the year prior.
Before WARM entered the community, it was up to local churches in the area to leave their doors unlocked so the most vulnerable were able to stay warm as temperatures plunged. Since it began operating in 2011, WARM has grown to encompass not only the cold weather shelter, but also transitional housing and outreach programs.
WARM provides a vital service to those who are homeless or at imminent risk of homelessness in the area. While meeting basic needs, they also provide critical supportive services such as access to mental health care, substance abuse referrals, case management, job search assistance, and much more. Each year between 60 and 70% of the homeless adults served by the WARM Cold Weather Shelter are disabled, seniors, or veterans.
Additionally, the transitional housing program has consistently provided successful outcomes and stability for over 75% of the families served. From January – December 2018, 160 adults and 49 children experiencing homelessness received support. Without financial support from funding partners like local communities of faith and other organizations, these people would not have received the assistance they so desperately needed.