On Nov. 9, the Swannanoa Valley Christian Ministry Homeless Shelter at First Baptist Church Black Mountain opened its doors to the area homeless because temperatures fell to 38 degrees or below.

This is the ministry’s eighth year of providing shelter for the area’s homeless residents.

Sonny Moore, its homeless outreach coordinator, is readying for the season and looking for volunteers to help with the shelter operations. He needs overnight volunteers as well as volunteers to help set up the meals donated by local churches for the guests.

If you are interested in helping keep homeless residents warm and fed, contact Moore at 669-9404 or email him at

Prior to the shelter opening, Moore hosted 12 college students from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill Oct. 18-22. Because the students’ primary focus was hunger and homelessness, they stayed in the ministry’s homeless shelter at First Baptist Church.

Each night they returned to the shelter after spending their days volunteering at different organizations in the area including MANNA FoodBank, Children First, Haywood Street Congregation and Stepp Orchard, where they picked apples.

Hosting the students was a blessing, Moore said, since they served the community and experienced, to some degree, what shelter life was like.

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