Imagine if Churches were as invested in housing people as they are in feeding people.

We are not just talking about the homeless population. In these times, there are always people in our communities that are in need of transitional housing: College students, refugees, young families, senior adults…. This is a real need. This is a real need that local churches can help meet.

Here is what I know…. many churches are sitting on way more property than they can use or need. I also know that churches are looking for concrete ways to be the presence of Christ in their communities. Most churches’ greatest giftedness is offering hospitality. What develops in a situation where gifting and need meet is the perfect place for God’s transformational work.

In Raleigh, NC CBF churches, in partnership with other denominations and organizations, have developed a system of transitional houses known of as “Welcome Houses.” These welcome houses are short term housing solutions that look different according to both the passion of the local church hosting and the needs of the region. For some churches, they only serve refugees and do so all year round. Others serve families of all shapes and sizes, but only takes on a couple of short-term placements a year.

So, what are we talking about here? We are suggesting an advocacy movement. A movement where we advocate for our neighbors’ housing needs by welcoming them into our unused spaces (unused parsonages, newly created living spaces within our churches spaces, insert your brilliant idea here…) to help meet short term needs.

Thanks to partnerships with CBF Field Personnel Josh and Jessica Hearne (Danville, VA) and Marc and Kim Wyatt (Raleigh, NC), CBFVA has both: 1. Success stories to help congregations see this is a real possibility and 2. A list of best practices that help congregations avoid the pitfalls and move toward the successful practices of effective “Welcome Houses.” 3. A network that can help you fulfill God’s dream for your church.

I know that for many of us this sounds overwhelming. There are so many layers of questions and doubt. Our theme for 2022-2023 is IMAGINE. Can we imagine a church not driven by fear but driven by call? Can we imagine a church that thrives on offering hospitality?