Shelter coming to Gwinnett

NORCROSS - An emergency homeless shelter for women and children - The House of Joy - is coming to Gwinnett County soon. And according to Bobbi Pack, director of the Love in Action Outreach Ministry, it's coming because of the support and generosity of many individuals and local businesses.

"We're in the process of securing a site in the Norcross area which is a former day care center," Pack said. "But we deeply need the prayers and financial support of anyone who has an interest in this much needed project."

Love in Action fed hundreds of disadvantaged people in Snellville on Christmas Day while also offering toys to less fortunate youths. Pack said the goal of the coming shelter is that it will offer a place of refuge and encouragement for those same types of people.

"Homelessness has taken on a new face and that face is largely composed of women and children," Pack said. "What we want to do with this shelter is reach out to those who have fallen into the cracks of poverty so that they can get out of there."

Pack said this will be done through offering clients computer classes and an environment which encourages and embraces success. She said unlike temporary shelters or extended stay hotels, which only serve as a Bandaid for homelessness, the House of Joy will be available for people for up to 90 days and is being welcomed by the city of Norcross which approved the project by rezoning and

granting a special-use permit for the proposed site. She said perhaps most importantly, the site provides easy access to the police station, to public transportation and is in nobody's backyard.

"It's an ideal setting," Pack said. "Gwinnett County is composed of a lot of caring and compassionate people and a lot of them want to help but have nowhere to go. This will be the place to go."

On Christmas, there were so many people and organizations helping out behind the scenes that it wouldn't have even been possible to pull of the event without them, Pack said. The list of local businesses and agencies that donated items or services included Kroger, Joe's Country Buffet, Best Taxi of Gwinnett, Office Depot, Publix, the Vision Presbyterian Church, and Wal-Mart. She also said numerous individuals, the Gwinnett County Fire Department and the cooperative ministries of Snellville, Loganville, Norcross, Lawrenceville and Lilburn were instrumental in making the event possible.

"I work closely with all of them," Pack said. "And I'm blessed to serve them and their clients."

For more information on the House of Joy or the Love in Action Outreach Ministry, call Bobbi Pack at 404-513-5683 or write to P.O. Box 561, Norcross, GA 30091.