room at the inn

Yes, there is Room at the Inn

Jeremy Anderson, left, Chasidy Ellis and their one-year-old son, Chance Anderson, prepared to sleep Dec. 21 at Christ the King Church in University City. The church serves as a night site for Room at the Inn, a ministry that provides temporary emergency shelter for homeless women and families. Room at the Inn uses space in churches, synagogues and mosques to house people.

A few days before Christmas, Jeremy Anderson sat in the basement of Christ the King Church in University City with his girlfriend and one-year-old son as they ate a barbecue dinner.

It was not exactly where they'd hoped to be, but the food was warm and the conversation was good. They were grateful to have found Room at the Inn.

Anderson had been working in security at a hotel in Las Vegas last year. A mass shooting at a concert near the Mandalay Bay hotel left him stressed. His employer gave him time off work, but it was just too much.

'Craft Lady' lets Jesus guide her volunteer efforts

Sue Eckhoff, left, works with Doreece Moore, a client of Room at the Inn, at a weekly arts and crafts class Sept. 17 at the shelter’s facilities in Bridgeton. Room at the Inn is a temporary, emergency shelter for homeless women and families, serving about 200 people a year, according to shelter staff.

Chrissa Key insisted she has minimal artistic talent. But her design of a Halloween T-shirt for her nephew clearly showed that she has a creative mind.

Instead of painting a pumpkin or another traditional design, Key painted jelly beans and hard-candy pieces on the shirt. Key gave the black shirt with the colorful, eye-catching candy images to Sue Eckhoff, who praised Key's work as she set it aside to dry.

Service organizations bridge 'young adult gap'

Michael Jelavich, right, secretary of the St. Vincent de Paul Society’s young adult conference at St. Vincent de Paul Parish in St. Louis, joined conference president Justus Arnett, center, and a client in prayer after a home visit.

Graduation, marriage, a first job, children. As young adults begin the ironically tumultuous process of "settling down" after college, they leave behind the structure of their former campus ministries and tend not to integrate into their home parishes except to attend Mass.

Recently, Church organizations have noticed a gap in ministry between college students and more established parents. Though the sacraments are always available, religious social events and opportunities for spiritual growth for young adults are either lacking or simply not compatible with their hectic schedules.

County counts homeless, helps bring them in from the cold

Angela Hamilton, a client coordinator for Room at the Inn, interviewed Tony and LaMonda at the Hanley Road MetroLink station. With the help of the volunteers, Tony and LaMonda, who have eight children and have been homeless for five years, found shelter. Lisa Johnston |

LaMonda and Tony have stayed in a car, in laundromats, in a house that has no electricity, with relatives and hotels when they could get money from begging. They slept in a closet area and a cold basement storage area with rats running around them.

"We were scared, really scared, and I couldn't even sleep," Tony said.

With all the challenges they face, they remain dedicated to each other, able to smile and laugh.

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