Prayer event to focus on city's homeless population

Matthew Lane • Jan 28, 2020 at 8:24 AM

KINGSPORT — If you’re concerned about the homeless in town, you’re encouraged to come down to Glen Bruce Park Wednesday afternoon and pray about the issue.

It’ll only take five to 10 minutes, plus it’ll be a good way to show your support on an important issue currently facing the Model City.

The Kingsport Homeless Ministry is holding its first-ever “Prayers in the Park” event at noon on Wednesday to help bring attention to the city’s homeless population. Shades of Grace Pastor Will Shewey, a member of the ministry, said the event is meant to show solidarity on the issue.

“And that we’re all trying to reach the same goals, trying to create a healthy awareness of what folks are trying to do to address the need,” Shewey said. “The park is where the homeless people gather when the weather is nice, so we need to gather at ground zero (of the issue) and pray about it.

“All answers come from God ultimately and if we pray, we believe we can do great things.”

Like many other communities across the country, Kingsport is trying to figure out the best way to manage its homeless population. It’s an issue that’s come to the forefront in recent months, with Kingsport and the United Way working together to create a comprehensive action plan to better manage the city’s homeless.

One of the main goals of the Kingsport Homeless Ministry is to create a shelter and day center in Kingsport, Shewey said.

“(The event) is to help the community understand that there are people of faith concerned about homelessness,” Shewey said. “We can look at this as an opportunity rather than a problem, to reach out and help those who are often unable to help themselves due to mental illness, a handicap or a drug addiction.

“There’s so many things that create homelessness, there’s no one-size-fits-all.”

The “Prayers in the Park” event will last about five to 10 minutes, Shewey said. There will be a scripture reading, then everyone will join in a circle and have a brief prayer. If there’s inclement weather, the event will be postponed until Feb. 5.

The Kingsport Homeless Ministry would like to have similar events once a month for the foreseeable future.

“I’ll be thrilled if 25 people show up this first time,” Shewey said. “That’s a good start and we’d love to see many more.”

What: “Prayers in the Park” - an event to bring attention to Kingsport’s homeless population.

When: Wednesday beginning at noon – for the following Wednesday if inclement weather;

Where: Glen Bruce Park

Who: The event is being sponsored by the Kingsport Homeless Ministry.

Why: “We want to let the community know this is an important issue,” said Betsy Preston, secretary of the Kingsport Homeless Ministry. “This is something that we can’t solve on our own. We need God’s intervention.”

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