Doing good [Editorial]

Do-gooders do a lot of good in Harford County, none more so than the faith-based community.

When it comes to neighbors in need, Harford’s religious community tries to find ways to fill those needs and lend a helping hand. Whether it’s at the holidays when a Thanksgiving meal or Christmas for a whole family is needed, or on a more routine basis such as the weekly Grace Place lunch on Tuesdays in Havre de Grace or Martha’s Meals on Thursdays in Aberdeen, the county’s churches and their congregants are there.

As helpful as a holiday celebration or a daily meal can be, there’s nothing more primal in our life and times than shelter, especially during the bitter, bone-chilling darkness of winter.

For years, Harford County’s faith-based community has been providing shelter. It began, because of the lack of a permanent shelter, as a rotating overnight shelter hosted by a number of churches which opened their doors and their fellowship halls as a respite for the homeless.

In 2006, the Faith Communities and Civic Agencies United group opened the 33-bed Welcome One Emergency Shelter in Belcamp and the rotating shelter ceased.

The rotating shelter, because of an obvious need, returned in the winter of 2016-17. It’s good for the homeless that there was second shelter for the past two winters. Officials said 71 people, who all would not have fit in the permanent shelter, found refuge at times this past winter in the rotating shelter, including at least two that operated during the day, too. And the Epicenter in Edgewood made showers and other facilities available to the homeless three days a week.

University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Health partnered with the rotating shelter group this winter to provide security at the shelter and to ensure another who needed to go to the hospital made it there and back safely.

All of this was noted at a luncheon Monday thanking all of those who volunteered their efforts, their money and/or their time to help bring the homeless in from the cold.

“Being on the County Council for the last three and a half years, I’ve just seen so many good people that are willing to volunteer their time,” Harford County Councilman Curtis Beulah said.

Beulah was at the ceremony presenting certificates of appreciation.

The rotating shelter took a Herculean effort to organize, start and maintain. It’s incredible that a group of volunteers does this during the most challenging season of the year for all of us.

People would never be more proud to be from Harford County if they ever stopped to take in just a few of the countless things do-gooders do in our community.

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