SEVERNA PARK United Methodist Church

The Winter Relief Effort is an emergency shelter for homeless men and women during the winter months. Approximately 30 churches of various denominations across Anne Arundel County participate in this program every year.

See the Current Events Page For The Latest Information about the next Winter Relief.

What Is Winter Relief?

Winter Relief is the name given to a program that uses church social halls in Anne Arundel County for one week each, during the winter months, to house homeless men and women. The Arundel House of Hope, based in Glen Burnie, is the non-profit organization that conducts the entire Winter Relief program in Anne Arundel County. Winter Relief has been in existence for 20 years and houses 65 men and women for six months in more than 65 participating churches. Typically two churches are hosting guests at the same time. “Site One” churches house up to 40 people a night, both men and women. “Site Two” churches house up to 25 men only.

Arundel House of Hope



What Do We Do?

This is an excellent chance to serve on a mission right here at home.  We are responsible for providing the men & women a daily hot breakfast, a bag lunch, hot dinners, snacks, showers, and a safe, warm place in a loving, Christ-centered environment to spend the cold winter nights.

The men and women are picked up at the Intake Center in Glen Burnie which screens the men and women for any behavior issues. The Intake Center also may administer alcohol and/or drug tests in addition to police background checks before allowing them into the Winter Relief Shelter Program.

We transport our guests from the Glen Burnie Intake Center to The Gathering Place each day, arriving at the church between 5:15pm and 6:00pm. Dinner is served between 6:00pm and 6:15pm. After dinner, it's free time until 10:00pm. Free time includes the above-mentioned ministries, plus activities such as watching DVDs/videos; and playing checkers, chess, cards, and other games.

Lights are out at 10:00pm. Breakfast is served at 6:30am, and we then transport our guests back to the Intake Center in Glen Burnie between 7:00am and 7:30am.

Volunteers are always needed and will have opportunities in the following ministry areas:

  • sharing Christian fellowship by talking and visiting with our guests

  • leading a Bible Study

  • preparing, cooking & serving meals

  • providing transportation as drivers

  • serving as night hosts/monitors

  • providing entertainment & education as might be required

  • running errands

  • doing laundry

  • daily clean-up of the kitchen and hall

  • and setting up and breaking down the shelter at the beginning and end of the week.

In all of these ministry areas we are personally demonstrating Christ's' love to the homeless and our love of Christ. Please pray and consider how God could use you and your talents in this special opportunity to love your Lord by loving your neighbor.

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For further information, contact:

Carolyn Heim

Carolyn Heim photo


Severna Park United Methodist Church
731 Benfield Road,  Severna Park,  MD 21146
Phone: 410-987-4700    Emergency Pager 410-991-6639

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