With temperatures plummeting to the single digits over the next several nights, individuals and families looking for a place to get out of the cold may call upon the City of Corbin or First Baptist Church for assistance.
Corbin Mayor Willard McBurney said the McBurney Center may be opened if needed.
“You would just need to call (Corbin City Manager) Marlon (Sams) or call down to city hall,” McBurney said.
First Baptist Church has its Winter Relief Ministries.
On any evening when the temperature is forecast to dip below 29 degrees, a white flag outside of the church’s family life center indicates that food and shelter is available.
“We are alerting those from the community who don’t have a roof over their heads or adequate housing that we will provide a warm meal and vouchers for hotel rooms,” said Austin Carty, Pastor at First Baptist Church.
Carty said volunteers at the church provide the meal. Volunteers then take the needy to a nearby hotel that is working with the church to provide the assistance.
Carty said the hotel owners have agreed to provide a discount rate, which is paid by the church.
“We have a wonderful relationship with the hotel,” Carty said adding that the individuals must go through a screening process.
“We get a report from the hotel,” Carty added. “If there are any issues with someone, that person is no longer allowed to be part of the ministry. There have been very few times we have had to let someone know they are no longer all owed to participate.”
Carty said the individuals who have received assistance through the ministry have ranged in ages from 2 to 69.
“It has surprised us, the number of people that have sought help, particularly the number of families,” Carty said.
Carty said the church is always seeking additional volunteers to help with the ministry, particularly with the checking-in process.
“The job is to greet them and make them feel welcome,” Carty said.
“We are also very grateful for all financial offerings,” Carty added. “This is what helps us sustain the ministry.”
Carty said winter clothing and toiletry items are also needed.
Anyone wishing to donate may contact the church at 528-4738. Items may be dropped off at the church on North Laurel Ave. off of Roy Kidd Ave.
“There is also a quick link to give at www.corbinfbc.org,” Carty said adding this is not solely and effort of First Baptist Church.
“There are a lot of local churches, businesses and organizations that have stepped up alongside us,” Carty said.
Carty said while this is the first year for this ministry, church members are preparing for 2018-19.
“We plan on moving forward and figuring out how we can do this in an even more efficient and sustainable way,” Carty said.