BROWNWOOD, Texas (KTAB) –  A local church is standing in as a shelter for Brownwood’s homeless, as the city does not yet have a homeless shelter. 

In 2006, New Beginnings opened their doors to the homeless on nights when it became bitterly cold. Since then, the church’s fellowship hall has sheltered hundreds of people who had no where else to stay.  

Pastor Kelly Crenshaw says giving is what God called him to do.

After word spread about what the church was doing, they began taking in more and more people. Now, New Beginnings is a more permanent home for those seeking shelter.

“I can’t question it; I was blessed to be here and to get a new start in my life,” says Pam Wilson, a who is now living at the church. She says God is doing for her what she can not.

Wilson, and others, have become family to not only the Crenshaws but to the entire church as well. 

“They are a part of our church, they are a part of our family. We don’t refer to them as ‘them’ and ‘us,’ you know? And a lot of people say ‘oh, the homeless…’ but they are a part of the family,” says Pastor Crenshaw.

Wilson knows that this is a place she can call home, as she saves money to get a house of her own.

“Sometimes people just need a day or two or a week or two to get on their feet,” says Pastor Crenshaw.

Crenshaw adds that “sometimes they just need a little bit of time, once they get lost, to figure out what their next step is, and that it’s [the church’s] job to help them find the right direction.”

Since New Beginnings began operating as a homeless shelter, the Brownwood community has came together to help them. Some donate food to the food bank. Others, like Ms. Guthrie’s second grade class at Woodland Elementary, make the church warm scarves and blankets to give to the homeless each year.

Pastor Crenshaw states that it’s their vision to make a difference in the community.