A closed church in Easton may become the city’s newest homeless shelter. Tyler Rogers, the former director of the Safe Harbor Shelter, has proposed to purchase the Olivet United Presbyterian Church, which is located at 12th and Northampton Street in Easton. He currently has $40,000 in donations to go towards buying the church. Should zoning be approved, and the city code office allow the shelter, Roger hopes to have 50 beds in use year-round and an additional 50-60 in the basement if needed in the winter. The shelter would provide transitional housing for 10-12 special needs individuals for up to two years. He also hopes to include a thrift shop.
This would add to the eight shelters currently running in the Lehigh Valley. However, with eight shelters, there are still about 150 people who remain on the streets throughout the winter. A ninth shelter could make a difference.
The plan is currently being contested by those who worry about the church’s proximity to a local school. As such, the project has slowed and is awaiting zoning approval.
Regardless, acts like Rogers’ come as a reminder that there is always a way to help. Though it may not be restoring a church as a homeless shelter, each and every person has the ability to make a difference in the lives of the homeless in someway. As members of Athletes C.A.R.E., we strive to find unique solutions like Rogers’, giving whatever we can to make the world around us a better place.