Shepherd's Office does it right

February 25, 2022

I have been working with the homeless population for many years; in fact, I helped to establish an emergency shelter in central New York that later added a second leg for those needing transitional care for more complete adjustment. I am a clinical social worker and a registered nurse with extensive psychiatric and substance abuse experience.

When I arrived in Lewes, I saw the tent city on Route 1 and many raggedy people wandering the streets or holding signs begging for help. On asking around, I discovered several agencies in operation: a food bank that offered assist for utility bills, temporary motel rooms; an overnight refuge within a large church that sheltered overnight in cold weather; two church-based organizations offering food and rent money; and several soup kitchens. Also there were a fair number of AA programs. I saw quickly that there was a loose connection among these groups, but no concrete coordinated system. I joined up with the one offering overnight accommodations in winter. Unfortunately, that group no longer exists.

One day, while driving toward Georgetown, I passed a large yellow Victorian house with signs in front offering free lunch and an open table holding bread, fresh veggies and all sorts of canned food. There was a flurry of activity in the adjacent parking lot. I stopped to watch. A group of assorted folks were giving out all manner of shoes, clothing, bikes and toys; waiting on other folks like it was a store. I did not see any exchange of money! Everyone was smiling and interacting. Turns out it was dubbed a “free garage sale.” Then I saw trucks dropping fresh food, which was immediately set out for passersby to take.

Too much to wrap my head around, I later called the operator, a man named Jimmy Martin.

His wife was on the line too. Jimmy explained that this was the Shepherd's Office and it had been around since April of 2019. They serve homeless, hungry and lonesome people from infants to seniors without considering origin or belief or issues. Cathy wondered if I needed anything. I told her (and Jim) who I was and did they need some help. Cathy turned it around and offered prayers for my needs!

So I started helping.

I couldn’t believe the pride and joy in the faces of the workers, who turned out to be “homeless.” I couldn’t believe the calm energy of Jim in the midst of so many things occurring at once. It looked, well, coordinated and all connected; the whole therapeutic package in action.

I learned that potential employers hired folks after watching them work. I learned that all sorts of rehab programs are integrated. I learned that the people reentered society!

In short, the Shepherd's Office provides “one-stop shopping” – healing, provision for all needs, employment options, motivation to become whole and functional.

So, please consider donated to a major fundraiser, Do More 24, which is a Delaware State event to raise money for these type of nonprofits. It begins at 6 p.m., Thursday, March 3, and runs for 24 hours.

Please visit the following website and enter your e-mail to keep posted. This is competitive, as up to 400 organizations participate.

No one around does more than the Shepherd's Office. Help them.

Do it today!

Rhona Prescott
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