FREEHOLD, NJ – Winter 2021 brought some seriously cold days that turned into bitterly cold nights. While most people were hunkered down safe and warm in their homes, there were others in the community who were not as fortunate. However, no one was turned away from much-needed shelter this past winter season through the collaborative efforts of Monmouth County Office of OEM, MCDSS, the Homeless Systems Collaborative, the Office of Planning and Contracting, Monmouth ACTS and various other community agencies.
One place that was instrumental in housing the homeless during any “Code Blue” weather was Pilgrim Baptist Church of Red Bank. The Church was a go-to “warming center” spearheaded by Pastor Terrence K. Porter, senior minister, who also serves on the Communications Hub of Monmouth ACTS.
During Winter, the church created a Code Blue Response Team for the most frigid nights.
“On one particular night, there were no hotels available, so we did not want to turn anyone away,” said Pastor Porter, who added that social distancing measures were in place throughout. “It was a great night making a positive difference for the homeless guests of our community.”
Services that Pilgrim Baptist Church offered, aside from clean beds, were haircuts, COVID-19 vaccinations, clothing, snacks, and hot meals, courtesy of Soul Kitchen. Additionally, the Mental Health Association was on-site to assist anyone who needed assistance.
“We are truly grateful for the help of those at Pilgrim Baptist Church and our other warming centers,” said Monmouth County Commissioner Deputy Director Susan M. Kiley. “The acts of selflessness of these residents throughout the cold blue season is a great example of how Monmouth ACTS helps community organizations and individuals connect to resources.”
“We suffered through another brutal winter weather-wise, compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic. This is a great example of our County getting together to help our neighbors in times of need,” said Commissioner Director Thomas A. Arnone. “Nobody should be left out in the cold and we thank our warming centers for working so hard to keep our citizens clothed and sheltered this winter.”
To learn more about Monmouth ACTS, visit www.monmouthACTS.org.
About Monmouth ACTS
Monmouth ACTS (Assisting Community Through Services) was created by the Monmouth County Board of County Commissioners in 2018 to carry out recommendations of a Human Services Needs Assessment. This innovative public-private partnership brings together County divisions from the Department of Human Services and community partners on the Monmouth ACTS Advisory Council (MAAC) to enhance access to services for County residents. For more information, visit www.monmouthACTS.org.