An experiment by 14 North County churches and social service agencies to give homeless men home-cooked meals and a place to stay appears to be an overwhelming success.
The shelter, which opened Nov. 30, has been rotating from church hall to church hall. Clients, who have been screened by the Salvation Army, stay in the shelter from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. The Salvation Army provides cots and bedding.
The shelter will remain open until late March.
Beginning tonight, about 12 men will stay for seven nights in a shelter provided by the congregation of the Linthicum Heights United Methodist Church.
"It's been unbelievable," said Linthicum Heights shelter organizer John Wagner. "People have been wanting to do more than we have asked for. It's been real easy recruiting help; I've never had to do anything that was so easy. It's been a joy."
Mr. Wagner has recruited 42 people to monitor the dorm area. Some will stay until midnight and others from midnight until breakfast. Thirty-five people have volunteered to provide and serve meals. The volunteers also will play cards and talk to the men. Church members will pick up the men from the Salvation Army in Glen Burnie and drop them off there in the morning.
Members of Ferndale United Methodist Church quickly agreed to join the shelter program after their pastor told them about it. The Fellowship Hall will accommodate the overnight guests from Jan. 11-17. Parishioner Scott Schuler is in charge of scheduling the volunteers. He also has set up two- to three-member teams to prepare the meals every day.
"It took just two days to fill up the volunteer chart," Mr. Schuler said. "I think that is very good for a church our size."
People are helping in whatever way they can. Several parishioners are making casseroles at home and delivering them. One dinner will be prepared and served by the youth group.
St. Christopher's Episcopal Church will house homeless men during the week of Feb. 1. Parishioners staffing the shelter are receiving special training. Several parishioners will prepare and serve the meals.
The newly elected officers of the United Methodist Men of Ferndale United Methodist Church will be installed at 9 a.m. Saturday in the church's lower level. Lay leader Bob Sponsler will offer a men's Bible study at 8:30 a.m.
The new officers are Gary Duchesneau, president; Todd Hood, vice president; Jim Van Epps, secretary; and Bill Hines, treasurer.
The monthly meeting of the Friendly Thyme Herb Club will take place at 10 a.m. Friday at the Ferndale-Linthicum Senior Center, 7205 Baltimore-Annapolis Blvd.
The club's new officers are: Adele Walter and Mary Goode, co-presidents; June Burton, vice president; Doris Creamer, secretary; Renee Bivans, treasurer; and Sue Latini, director.
Club member Lola Zabetakis will discuss herbs in the winter garden. The club's plans and activities for the year will be discussed.
Guests and visitors are welcome. For information on the club, call 437-4120 or 255-1494.
All Brooklyn Park/Lindale Middle School eighth- and ninth-graders and their parents should attend a 7 p.m. meeting tomorrow at the school.
North County High School counselors will discuss ninth- and 10th-grade courses and programs. The agenda is designed to help parents and students prepare for the opening of the renovated Lindale school in September.
Students who will enter the ninth grade in September must meet new graduation requirements adopted by the state Board of Education and county school board.
Students also will be required to complete a locally designed service program that was approved by the state superintendent of schools, or 75 hours of approved public service.