ROOM IN THE INN LAKE CHARLES WELCOMES YOU
WHAT WE DO
Room In The Inn - Lake Charles is a 501(c)3 nonprofit public charity that partners with local churches and organizations to help feed and shelter those experiencing homelessness in our community.
Founded in 2016, we are modeled after the extremely successful Room In The Inn volunteer-driven sheltering program that is celebrating over 30 years of operation in Nashville, Tennessee.
We are one of the newest Room In The Inn programs, with 33 other cities offering similar programs around the country.
HOLY HOSPITALITY - HOW IT WORKS
Room in the Inn-Lake Charles recruits local communities of faith to open their doors to unsheltered neighbors during the coldest months of the year. The Room in the Inn-Lake Charles staff selects and screens guests and hands out vouchers for overnight stays at area churches.
One night a week, each congregation site sends a van or volunteer vehicles to a designated location downtown, where they pick up 12 to 15 guests who have been oriented to the program. They take them back to their location, share an evening meal together and stay with them overnight. Some sites offer showers and a clothes closet, but these features are not required.
In the morning, most sites provide a quick breakfast and a snack bag, and then return their guests to the same downtown location by 7:00 A.M. During this experience, the guests and volunteers get to know each other through conversation and other activities.
WHAT IT IS NOT
Room in the Inn is not an attempt to resolve all of the issues of the homeless. The problems are too deep and too personal.
Room in the Inn is not a program through which a congregation takes one or more homeless people “underwing,” providing them with economic assistance, job training, and personal spiritual direction. These gifts can be offered in time, as relationships develop.
Room in the Inn is not about establishing a large shelter where hundreds of people are cared for nightly.
Room in the Inn is not a social service agency. It is a ministry of love.
WHAT IT IS
Room in the Inn is a way for more people in every sector to understand the problems of the homeless by becoming directly involved with people who are experiencing homelessness.
Room in the Inn is a means through which congregations of every faith open their facilities to welcome 12 to 15 homeless people as guests on cold winter nights.
Room in the Inn is about changing people, guests and hosts alike. It creates an environment and an opportunity for the guests to learn that there are people who care and for the hosts to come to understand that the faceless figure on the street corner is more than a statistic.
Room in the Inn is about serving without prejudice or pride. It is about accepting everyone.
Room in the Inn is about people of religion putting the tenets of their faith into practice.
Room in the Inn is not about giving; it is about receiving. It is about everyone, both guests and hosts, receiving a blessing—an encounter with God in the midst of suffering, hardship, pain and grief.
Room in the Inn is an opportunity, not an answer. It is an experience, not a solution.
In short, Room in the Inn is an opportunity to experience the presence of God in a different way.
Finally, Room in the Inn gets its name from a story in the Bible about a family coming to a small town called Bethlehem and not finding any room in the inn. We cannot go back in history 2000 years and change that story, but each night we are open in Lake Charles we can change that story’s ending by providing room in the inn.
"Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me."
HOW CAN YOU HELP?
Please join our efforts - opportunities to serve include:
Praying for this ministry
Raising awareness of the needs of those without homes in the Lake Charles area
Becoming a host church by providing space for sleeping and serving a meal
Volunteering to serve at one of our host congregations
Giving a monetary donation or donation of supplies