KINGSPORT, Tenn. (WJHL) – Community members in Kingsport gathered at Glen Bruce Park Wednesday at noon for a new Prayer in the Park event sponsored by the Kingsport Homeless Ministry Inc. in an effort to raise awareness for Kingsport’s homeless population.
Shades of Grace Methodist Church Pastor Rev. Will Shewey stood before the crowd in prayer with hopes it would spark a more positive outlook regarding homelessness and trigger solutions.
“I would like to look at all of this as an opportunity and a challenge rather than a problem,” Shewey said. “So often when people talk about homelessness, there’s a negative connotation.
“As people of faith, as the body of Christ, we come together as one trying to make a positive difference and really not only talk about it, but put some action behind our words and really do something.”
Shewey revealed the ministry aims to establish a nighttime shelter and day center along with other resources to implement solutions for homelessness within the city.
“As an outreach ministry, we are able to solicit funding and work toward a permanent shelter that would help all people and a day center where people can be safe,” Shewey said. “Right now, the library next door and the Shades of Grace church are the only two buildings that I’m aware of where homeless folks or anyone can gather during the day as a safe place.
“There just isn’t a day center or any safe place available.”
Wednesday’s Prayer in the Park was the first of many; there will be monthly gatherings, according to Shewey.