Drive to finance homeless shelter getting attention
BELLE GLADE — Pastor Eric and wife Theresa Payne of New Zion Assembly – The New Church are helping to host a “Pray for the Glades” day on Saturday, Dec. 21. They ask that those interested please invite everyone they know of who believes in the power of prayer.
This will be a 24-hour Prayer Walk/Prayer Vigil, to take place at the Belle Glade Loading Ramp, 524 S.W. Ave. C Place. Join pastors, groups and your neighbors in praying for the community from 8 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 21, until 8 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 22. Security will be provided by the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, and bottled water will be given out. For more information, call 561-302-5471.
The Rev. and Mrs. Payne run The New Church out of their own apartment in Belle Glade, and also have a charity they operate called Glades Family Services Inc. that is seeking to establish a new shelter for homeless people in a building they plan to purchase.
They are in the middle of a several weeks-long sprint toward the Jan. 1, 2020, deadline to raise $250,000 for purchase of a property and two-story building at an agreed discount price from the owner, with enough left over to establish some programs and provide for the first residents.
Last week, the Rev. Payne gave an update on his efforts.
“Thus far we’ve received a lot of recognition for what we are attempting to do. Several people from Facebook (including PBSO deputies) have expressed an interest in helping to raise funds and spread the word,” he said, but results have been sparse so far.
He said they’ve raised several hundred dollars but not yet $1,000 through their GoFundMe and Facebook appeals; his four children have raise another few hundred by contacting local businesses.
He has reached out, he said, to Palm Beach County-based foundations including the Quantum and H.E. Hill organizations, to the Lord’s Place (where they commended his group’s efforts), Habitat for Humanity, the major television networks and others.
“So, we continue to pray and continue to work toward our goal,” the Rev. Payne said. “Determined, I am.”