CHILDERSBURG -- The Total Life Outreach Temporary Shelter provides refuge and temporary housing for those displaced or homeless in Childersburg.

The new shelter, at 601 7th St. SW, officially opened Sept. 30.

“The shelter has been several years in the making, but I’m so grateful to see it finally become a reality,” founder Billie Crawford said. 

Crawford also serves as pastor of The Holy Faith Temple in Childersburg. “This wasn’t just my vision, the entire church has been instrumental in the process,” she said.

According to Crawford, the facility previously served as a day care.

“It had been vacant for many years,” she said. “I knew it would serve as the perfect space.”

The building houses 15 beds in multiple bedrooms separating men, women and single mothers with children. 

“It’s important that mothers with young children are able to have their own privacy and living space, separate from other guests.” Crawford said.

Additionally, the shelter also has a main living space, a family room, a kitchenette and multiple full and half bathrooms.

“Tommy Cook, who is also a minister at my church, is serving as the onsite supervisor,” Crawford said. “He has volunteered to stay in his own personal bedroom each night.”

Crawford said that upon arrival, guests at the shelter are given their own care bag, stocked with various toiletries.They also get to claim a bed, but for only two weeks.

As of Thursday, the shelter had one resident. 

Crawford added all of the facility’s furniture, appliances and toiletries have been donated by different churches, organizations and members of the community. 

According to Crawford, applicants will be referred by other faith-based organizations or by the local police department.

The shelter’s goal is to get its guests back on their feet and into a better situation, Crawford said. 

“Area churches and organizations have volunteered to provide guests with various types of self-help tools and resources,” Crawford said. “We want anyone who walks into the shelter to leave with a sense of independence and a plan.

“You never know when the tables could turn, and it could be you needing help. I am very thankful for the support of Childersburg Mayor Ken Wesson and everyone who has donated their time, resources or money to help make everything happen. It wouldn’t have been possible without them.”

For more information, contact Crawford at 256-267-8535.

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