One Herndon church is helping to change that for local homeless people.
Floris United Methodist Church, 13600 Frying Pan Road in the Oak Hill area, is hosting a Hypothermia Prevention and Response Program in partnership with the Fairfax County-area nonprofit organization FACETS to bring in people off the streets at nighttime and give them a warm place to sleep and food in their bellies.
Each night between Jan. 12-19, the church is transforming its large fellowship hall into the "Floris Guest House."
Between 5:30 p.m. and 7 a.m., up to 40 people will be served a hot dinner, allowed to take a shower, and given a warm bed to sleep in. In the morning, they are served a hot breakfast, and even given a packed lunch to take with them when they leave.
There is also a large coat closet in the guest house where they can "shop" for warm coats and other winter essentials, all donated by church and community members.
"We have a great and very generous and giving community here at Floris United," said Jake McGlothin, a director at the church.
Evening activities are also offered to the nightly guests, such as a reading area and more.
Over 250 Floris UMC members and friends, age 14 and older, have been volunteering in a variety of capacities, including meal preparation and service, transportation, evening activity coordination, and more, McGlothin said.
"FACETS staff and Floris volunteers have really worked together to create a warm environment so our guests truly feel welcome in our church home," said Floris volunteer Laurie Tillet.
FACETS has been hosting the Hypothermia Prevention and Response program in partnership with various area churches for the past five to six years. After visiting another church that hosted the program previously, and talking it over with other church leaders, McGlothin they knew it would be a great thing for Floris UMC to do for the community.
"Our church has been actively engaged in assisting individuals for many years, but this is a program we'd never been a part of," he said. "We decided this would be an excellent opportunity for us to serve our community."
Now that the week-long program is well underway, he added, it's been as wonderful an experience as they expected.
"It's been great, and an honor to serve our community this way, and to partner with FACETS, which is a really great organization," he said.
For more information, visit www.florisumc.org and http://facetscares.org.
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