Arundel House of Hope's winter mission: keep the homeless alive
5:54 PM, Oct 12, 2015
6:03 PM, Oct 12, 2015
The line started forming before the sun came up.
The Arundel House of Hope kicked off the Winter Relief Emergency Shelter program for the 24th year.
For some guests, ensuring their name got on that list meant getting there Sunday night.
The slots are limited. Organizers said they serve dozens of homeless men and women with the help of volunteers and churches that serve as sheltering facilities. Each location is responsible for one week.
"The main ministry behind winter relief is to keep people alive," Karen Biagiotti, the program director, said.
Biagiotti said it's heartbreaking to see the wait list grow, but they are sure to offer alternatives in the area.
"We do offer them food for the evening, blankets, whatever we can with them to make their night and then just encourage them to keep coming back until they get into the program," she said.
Some of the guests have been coming back for years, like 27-year-old Frank Weeks Jr. He said he is getting ready for a life changing experience. He is almost done with his college application.
"My ultimate goal is to own my own business. I actually want to give back similar to how they're giving back here," he told ABC2.
Robert Wrede has been homeless on and off for the past four years. He called this program the most fulfilling and filling he's come across.
"They feed you so well that the last time I was here, I gained like 40-50 pounds and breakfast is the same way," Wrede said.
Wrede said his best bet if he didn't get in here would be going to a shelter in Baltimore City, but that is not the case for everyone.
"To be honest with you, I got a bus pass. I would probably ride the bus, the MTA bus, sit on the Light Rail, up and down, up and down, then I would probably sign up myself , go over to the hospital and stay the night," Nannie Waller said.
Waller said she has done that before but hopes she will never have to again. She is gearing up to sign a lease for her new apartment in December.
"I wish everybody in here can get on their feet too," she said.