In the two years since the CBFNC Welcome Ride made a stop at the apartment complex owned by Oakmont Baptist Church in Greenville, the newest and easternmost Welcome House is just opening there. The dream that began then is now a reality.
Rental rates for two- and three-bedroom apartments in Raleigh continue to climb. They are almost out of reach for local refugee agencies trying to secure permanent housing for arriving refugees. Affordable housing has become a critical need across the country for low-income families including refugees, who arrive with no jobs or credit history dependent on sponsors until they have the opportunity and tools to take care of themselves. Because of this issue, refugee agencies like the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI) North Carolina Field Office in Raleigh asked the CBFNC Welcome House Community Network for help.
This past April during the CBFNC Hospitality and Housing Summit, church leaders from Oakmont Baptist and Immanuel Baptist churches in Greenville met with USCRI leaders to consider how they might collaborate to establish a Welcome House in eastern North Carolina. Rental rates in Greenville are nearly half those in Raleigh. The difference is well worth the distance. The churches and agencies have been working closely together to establish housing solutions in their community.
Cedarbridge Baptist, Immanuel Baptist, Oakmont Baptist and The Memorial Baptist churches are collaborating on Welcome House Greenville, which will embrace its first refugee family very soon. At the same time Larry Hovis, CBFNC executive coordinator, is cycling across the state for this year’s Welcome Ride, the family’s flight will land at Raleigh-Durham International Airport. A USCRI caseworker will greet them at the airport and drive them one and half hours east to their first home in the U.S. where their new Baptist friends have prepared an apartment with everything they will initially need including a culturally appropriate home cooked meal. Each church has committed financial support and organized hospitality teams to welcome and care for the family.
CBNFC is honored to provide a Welcome House Community Network start-up grant for this new ministry. These grants are made possible from funds raised during previous Welcome Ride campaigns.
Welcome House Greenville is ready. The shared effort of these CBFNC churches and the financial generosity from our larger Cooperative Baptist family proves that by working together great things can be accomplished in Jesus’ name.
Want to get involved and help grow this ministry?
- Make a donation to support Welcome Ride. Give online here or mail a check to CBFNC, 2640 Reynolda Road, Winston-Salem, NC 27106.
- Follow Larry and his Welcome Ride team as they bike from the mountains to the coast on CBFNC’s Facebook and Instagram pages. We will share daily photos, videos and updates along the bike route.