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Rock Hill shelter sees ‘dramatic increase’ in need, plans fundraiser

Shelter for men needs donations to provide thousands of meals in Rock Hill

On Nov. 10, the leaders of the Men’s Warming Center housed at the Bethel United Methodist Church in Rock Hill is hosting the first fundraising event for the shelter. The shelter has seen an increase in need.
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On Nov. 10, the leaders of the Men’s Warming Center housed at the Bethel United Methodist Church in Rock Hill is hosting the first fundraising event for the shelter. The shelter has seen an increase in need.

As the weather turns colder, men in the Rock Hill area with nowhere to go find shelter and warm meals each season at the Men’s Warming Center.

On Nov. 10, the center will hold its first fundraiser called Love Our Neighbor Community Event with live music, barbecue, a bake sale, face painting and prize drawings every hour where the shelter is housed at Bethel United Methodist Church in Rock Hill. The center opened more than a decade ago, leaders said.

“We have seen a dramatic increase of the number of men needing shelter and warm meal in our community over the last three years,” a center statement said. “However, many individuals within our community are not aware of the increasing demand for the services that the Men’s Warming Center provides.”

Last year, the shelter offered 7,050 warm meals and beds to 175 men, housing 28 men a night, according to the statement. Local churches offered temporary overflow centers last season, providing up to 25 more beds a night to men who needed a warm place to sleep, according to the center statement. During the coldest months, an emergency overflow warming center was opened for seven weeks and added another 20 beds for homeless men in the community.

Emily Sutton, pastor for Bethel UMC for six years, and Richard Murr, the shelter’s chairperson, hope Saturday’s event sheds light on local homelessness.

“Our hope is that through this event, our community will begin to see the needs of our community and know that during the winter months, Bethel UMC opens its doors to offer a safe and warm place for homeless men to sleep and receive a warm meal,” the statement said.

Want to help?

  • The Love Our Neighbor community event benefiting the Men’s Warming Center is from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Nov. 10 at Bethel United Methodist Church, 1232 Curtis St., Rock Hill. For more information and to order barbecue tickets, call 803-327-4881 or email bethelrockhill@gmail.com.
  • Community members also can donate to the church, specifying Men’s Warming Center on the memo line or make donations on the church’s website.

  • Volunteers are needed to help at the York County area warming centers. Contact the United Way of York County at 803-324-2735, Bethal UMC at 803-327-4881 or Salvation Army at 803-324-5141.

Area shelters opening

  • Women’s Warming Center at Salvation Army, 119 Charlotte Ave., Rock Hill: Open each night at 6 p.m. Nov. 16 through the winter months.

  • Men’s Warming Center at Bethel United Methodist Church, 1232 Curtis St., Rock Hill: Open each night at 6 p.m. Nov. 11 through the winter months.
Amanda Harris: 803-329-4082; @amanda_d_harris
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