Messick’s Long Walk Home Turns Into Annual Adventure Day

On November 18th at the Oxford Community Center, local adventure-seekers can experience on a small scale the journey that local attorney Robert Messick embarked on this year to benefit Talbot Interfaith Shelter (TIS).  Messick left in April to hike all 2,190 miles of the Appalachian Trail in an effort to raise money to support the shelter’s mission of preventing homelessness in Talbot County.   He has already surpassed $23,000 toward his $35,000 goal.

To honor his incredible effort and ensure that its impact continues now that his mission is completed, TIS has parlayed the Long Walk Home into an annual Family Fun Walk and Adventure Day.

Kids of all ages will join in a nature walk with stops along the path commemorating events that happened to Messick on the Appalachian Trail.  Once they arrive back at the Community Center, there will be several adventure activities – including a compass scavenger hunt – along with demonstrations, crafts, food and drink.

The nature walk and activities will be from 11 am to 3 pm, followed by a presentation by Mr. Messick about his Appalachian Trail journey.  While the walk and activities are geared towards families with children, Robert’s presentation is appropriate for all ages.  Admission to both is free, but donations to Talbot Interfaith Shelter are encouraged.  Suggested donation amounts are $10 per person or $20 per family.  If you are interested in sponsoring or volunteering for the event, contact TIS’ Marketing and Communications Director, Jayme Dingler, at tis.jayme@gmail.com or 443-786-4676.

The Talbot Interfaith Shelter is a voluntary interfaith-based service organization in Talbot County, Maryland. We are dedicated both to providing safe, temporary shelter to men, women, and children who lack adequate housing, and to raising awareness of the issues of homelessness in our community.  Their vision is that no one in Talbot County will ever have to spend a night on the streets, in a car or in the woods because he or she cannot find housing.

Lip Sync Battle Pays More Than Lip Service to Local Homeless Shelter

On April 13th at 7:30 pm, the Avalon Theatre will be alive with the sounds of music, but the people on stage won’t be singing.  For their second installment of the Concert 4 Shelter series, Talbot Interfaith Shelter (TIS) is hosting a Lip Sync Battle to raise money for their shelter and transitional housing program.  The event is presented by Wells Fargo Advisors’ Easton Branch, and is sure to be a hilarious and fun time for the whole family.

TIS has gathered individuals and teams from all over the community to duke it out in a Lip Sync battle royale for the ages.  The contestants include TIS Executive Director Julie Lowe, Mike Endzel of Johnny Bling, Team Eastern Shore Brewing, Rob Pierce of Pierce Home Builders, Team Shore United Bank, students from The Country School HOHO (Helping Others, Helping Ourselves) Advisory Group, and Team BAAM (Building African American Minds).  These brave souls have been preparing for weeks to perform their hearts out and compete to see who can raise the most money for the shelter.

Adding to the fun will be co-hosts Laurie Forster, also known as The Wine Coach, and local musician and shelter board member Jayme D.  The always entertaining DJ Groundhog will be on stage providing the soundtrack to this unforgettable night.  If you want to support your favorite contestant, there are many ways to “vote”:

Buy a ticket to the show. The night of the event, your ticket will be your ballot, and the $27 purchase price will go towards helping your team-of-choice win. As a bonus, just by purchasing your ticket, you will also be providing a “win” for a man, woman or child in need in our community by covering the cost of shelter, food, and services for one day!
If you’re attending the show, come early and come hungry! The incredible Eat Sprout will be providing light fare, snacks and beverages, and every dollar you spend on food will be counted as a vote for your contestant!
Make an online donation. If you can’t attend the show, or just want to help push your contestant over the edge, you can vote by making an online donation to TIS.

To learn more about the Lip Sync Battle, buy your tickets, or vote for a contestant, visit www.talbotinterfaithshelter.org/LipSyncBattle/html.

The Talbot Interfaith Shelter is a voluntary interfaith-based service organization in Talbot County, Maryland. We are dedicated both to providing safe, temporary shelter to men, women, and children who lack adequate housing, and to raising awareness of the issues of homelessness in our community. 

Talbot Interfaith Shelter Completes Purchase of Easton’s Promise

On November 2nd, at 1880 Bank, Talbot Interfaith Shelter (TIS) closed on the purchase of Easton’s Promise, located at 107 Goldsborough Street. The Shelter has been leasing the property since autumn of 2014 as it awaited the end of a lengthy appeal process related to its permit to operate at that location.

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Gail Benjamin, Vice President of TIS; Kevin Moran Chief Credit Officer 1880 Bank; Frank Menditch, TIS Treasurer; Richard White Jr, Miles & Stockbridge P.C.

The original permit was awarded on June 29, 2014 by the Board of Zoning Appeals (BOZA) in Easton. The decision was appealed to Talbot County Circuit Court, where it was upheld on April 16th, 2015. The permit was further appealed to the Maryland Court of Special Appeals, who upheld the BOZA and Circuit Court decisions on September 15th of this year.

During the appeal process, TIS moved forward with determination, and has assisted 112 people, including 18 families with 36 children. They are currently hosting 13 individuals, including 7 children who range in age from two weeks to nine years old. The timing of the purchase is fortuitous, having occurred on the second day of Homelessness Awareness Month.

“We are relieved to have possession of Easton’s Promise, and to finally be able to focus 100% of our energy on working with our partners and supporters to prevent homelessness on the Eastern Shore,” said Gail Benjamin, Vice President of the shelter’s board, who signed on behalf of TIS at the closing.

“We are so grateful to Carla and Pete Howell for their incredible patience, and for allowing us the opportunity to help so many people while we awaited the end of the appeal process. No one could have predicted that it would go on for more than two years, and they are wonderful for standing by us and letting us make Easton’s Promise our home in the interim. We could not have done any of this without them.”

“Our pro bono attorneys have been amazing throughout all of this, as well,” added TIS Executive Director Julie Lowe. “Mike Kopen worked tirelessly for two years making sure that our permit was upheld, and Dick White has been with us for many years providing sound advice and assistance and working with us through the process of purchasing Easton’s Promise. Thanks also to Kevin Moran and 1880 Bank for making this happen so quickly.“

Lowe went on to express gratitude for the outpouring of support the shelter has received from the community. “We received an incredible offer from our anonymous donors over two years ago, and it was the catalyst for what we have built at Easton’s Promise. There are no words to express how thankful we are, not only for their financial support, but for the confidence they had that we would rise to the occasion. And we have an army of big-hearted volunteers and donors. What they may not realize is that, when they donate, or cook dinner, or organize an event to support us, or simply treat our guests with dignity and respect, what they are really doing is changing lives. They are giving our neighbors the stability, support and confidence they need to move forward and regain their independence.

“Now that we own Easton’s Promise, our journey is just beginning. We will need their help and support now, more than ever, to fulfill our mission.”

To learn more about Talbot Interfaith Shelter and how you can help, visit www.talbotinterfaithshelter.org or contact Julie Lowe at 410-310-2316.

Yoga Fundraiser For Talbot Interfaith Shelter

Students and teachers at The Studio in St. Michaels will stretch, bend and hold yoga poses on Saturday, September 13th, with open hearts and minds toward those men, women and children in Talbot County who are homeless.

According to The Studio’s Paulette Florio, “We teach yoga of and from the heart. On September 13th, we turn our hearts and attention to those in our community who are need of safe shelter. We will be holding a series of gentle yoga classes in support of this effort. You can take one or all three classes or make a contribution. All classes are gentle enough for the beginner student and relaxing and renewing enough for everyone.”

Julie Lowe, Executive Director of the Talbot Interfaith Shelter said “Rural homelessness often is a hidden problem. A vast geographic area can complicate identifying community members without shelter, but rural communities face similar economic struggles to urban areas. Here’s what we know about homelessness in Talbot County: In 2012-13, Talbot County Schools reported 98 homeless students, which translates to approximately 60 homeless families in Talbot County. At least 50 more of our neighbors lack adequate housing. On average, TIS has fielded 45 calls per month during our winter operations, and much of this need is temporary.”

Founded in 2008, TIS currently operates as a winter shelter, rotating among faith community host sites. Today, 19 partner congregations participate, and last year over 400 volunteers donated 3,571 hours. The organization also currently houses three families in off-site apartments. With the recent Board of Zoning Appeals approval to operate the Shelter at Easton’s Promise at 107 Goldsborough St., the organization expects to offer shelter in its new setting starting this winter.

The yoga studio is offering three special sessions on Saturday, September 13th. From 1:00 – 1:45 Carole Derry will lead a Restorative Yoga class. From 2:00 – 2:45, a Gentle Heart Opening Sequence will be offered by Cindy Browne. From 3:00 to 3:45, Lynda Barrow will lead a Heart opening Guided Meditation Session. The public is invited to take one or all three classes for $25.00 To register, call Paulette at 410-924-2443.

For more information, see the websites of The Studio (www.stmichaelsstudio.com) and the Talbot Interfaith Shelter (www.talbotinterfaithshelter.org).

Shelter Century Fall Foliage Tour Moves To Hog Neck Golf Course Oct. 18

The Talbot Interfaith Shelter announces the move of its signature cycling event to Hog Neck Golf Course. The third annual Shelter Century Fall Foliage Tour will be held on October 18, 2014 with a ‘show and go’ start from 7:00 – 9:00 a.m. The event features four separate rides, a 10 mile ride, a 33 mile fitness ride, a metric century (63 mile) and a full century (100 mile) ride. This year will also feature the new #lovewins 5K walk through the award-winning Hog Neck golf course. Proceeds benefit the Talbot Interfaith Shelter (TIS), a cold weather homeless shelter in Talbot County, MD.

Shelter-Century-2014-LOGO_web_opThe fall foliage ride takes cyclists through picturesque Talbot County, on quiet roads with gentle hills rising through lush farmland and forests with water views of the Choptank River. Starting and ending at the famed Hog Neck Golf Course, cyclists and walkers will be celebrated with an after-party complete with hot food, homemade pie, local brews and the sweet sounds of singer Jayme Ploff.

The event is a ride, not a race. Rest stops will be available for all courses with light food, refreshments and restrooms. The course is just minutes from Easton, offering cyclists and their families shopping, dining and lodging.

Cyclists who wish to support the event by raising funds for the Shelter can do so through the active.com registration system, and special prizes and fashionable new cycling jerseys will be offered to winning fund raisers. Teams are encouraged, as are costumes and slogans. Long sleeved technical shirts and cool shirts for walkers are cornerstones of the event. Teams, sponsors and fund raising cyclists will be supported and promoted on social media.

The Talbot Interfaith Shelter is dedicated both to providing safe, temporary shelter to men, women, and children who lack adequate housing, and to raising awareness of the issues of homelessness in Talbot County. Fourteen faith communities rotate the homeless shelter through their church facilities during the cold weather months. Over 400 volunteers from the faith communities have worked together since 2008 to keep neighbors off the streets and in warm beds during the winter. Sponsors and cyclists participating in the event will directly help provide shelter to our homeless neighbors.

To register to ride or sponsor the event, visit the Shelter Century website (www.sheltercentury.org). For information about the Talbot Interfaith Shelter, see their website (www.talbotinterfaithshelter.org). For additional information or questions, call 443-205-2828 or email sheltercentury@gmail.com.

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Talbot Interfaith Shelter Seeks Zoning Board Approval

The Talbot Interfaith Shelter (TIS) has applied with the Town of Easton for a Special Exception Permit to operate a homeless shelter/transitional home at 107 Goldsborough Street, currently the location of B&B Easton’s Promise.

A hearing is scheduled before the Easton Board of Zoning and Appeals on Tuesday, April 15 at 9:15 a.m. Hearing location is 14 South Harrison Street in Easton.

The proposed shelter location is commercially zoned, outfitted with a fire suppression sprinkler system and is set up to provide accommodations for 12-15 people. It will triple Talbot Interfaith Shelter’s current capacity, at host site churches, and allow shelter for the needy to be open 24 hours a day, year-round. It also will provide space for TIS staff and staff from other Talbot County agencies, creating great efficiency and effectiveness when dealing with the needy.

TIS has requested its supporters to attend the April 15 meeting.