Alliance Church Shelters Homeless
Ormond Beach (Florida) Alliance Church has doubled as a homeless shelter since 2008. Pastor Doug Hautz began this ministry partly by accident and partly because he was inspired by A. B. Simpson, who cared for those who had nothing.
“Instead of inviting people to my church, I needed to be a supply for a need in my community,” Doug says.
A Place to Rest
One cold, rainy day in Florida, Doug and another pastor were meeting when two homeless men came in asking for money. One of them was wearing flip flops because his sneakers and socks were soaked.
The other pastor decided to take the man to buy new footwear. Doug realized that the best thing he could give these men was a place to rest.
The two pastors went to another church that collects blankets for the homeless and borrowed a few for the night. The four of them spent the night in Doug’s church together.
When the shelter at Ormond Beach Alliance Church first started, it housed people only when the temperature was below 40 degrees. This changed when Doug drove to his home on a hot, rainy day and discovered 10 men finding shelter under his carport.
The church now houses people year round. The congregation also provides job-hunting services and legal help to the 28 residents. Doug has helped with so many of their court cases that many of the judges know him by name.
A Second Chance
A variety of people have benefitted from the shelter, including drug addicts, runaways, and veterans.
One of the residents, Daniel, traveled to Florida from Massachusetts in search of a better life. He explained how he was placed in the foster care system when he was eight years old after one of his sisters passed away.
Eventually, a family took him in, provided for him through his teens, and involved him in sports, which became his life’s passion.
In his sophomore year of college, Daniel was unable to play sports due to the amount of work he was doing for school and his job. He still did not have anyone he considered family. To fill the void, he got into drugs and alcohol.
He eventually realized he needed to remove himself from that lifestyle before getting into serious trouble. So he saved as much money as he could and made his way to Florida.
Through the support of Ormond Beach Alliance, Daniel now has a job and actively participates in Bible studies at the church.
Another resident was kicked out of his home and lost his job simultaneously. He had no family in the area and had never been on the streets. Scared, he rode his bike to the Salvation Army in hopes of attaining shelter.
The Salvation Army couldn’t take him in, so the staff referred him to Doug’s church. He recounted how blessed he felt to be in a place that allowed him to stay until he got back on his feet.
Doug looks for any opportunity to present the good news to the residents. Much of the time, the way he does so is through his actions.
Doug also has been able to share the gospel with two prostitutes who have been living in the church. One of them handed him a piece of paper on Christmas Eve thanking him for being the only man who never wanted anything from her.
Uniting the Community
Many people in Ormond Beach know about the Alliance church’s services, which has led to businesses picking up residents as day laborers and to other congregations donating food or some of their offerings to Ormond Beach Alliance.
Many churches in the area have become united because of this ministry. One example is the collaborative funeral held for a homeless man who had come to the shelter. The service was packed for a man who may have otherwise died in anonymity.
Doug doesn’t believe he is doing anything revolutionary. “It’s just treating people as humans—the ones that God created,” he says. “It’s amazing how God loves us.”
Read an article about the Ormond Beach Alliance Church shelter published by The Daytona Beach News-Journal.
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