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Hood Theological Seminary: A Neighbor In Deed!
During the second week of April 2020, President Lattimore received a call from Mrs. Kyna Grubb, the Executive Director of Rowan Helping Ministries (RHM), a regional-based human services organization that provides resources to individuals and families who are challenged by homelessness, food insecurity, and job displacement. Dr. Lattimore previously served a four-year term on the RHM Board and its Program Services Committee. Mrs. Grubb had a simple request. She wondered if it might be possible for the Seminary to consider housing a small group of families that had become homeless due to job loss resulting from COVID-19. Dr. Lattimore indicated that the Seminary had, several weeks prior, pivoted to 100% online coursework. Thus, regular commuter students were now engaged in virtual theological studies and some rooms were not occupied.
Following two conversations, a covenant between HTS and RHM for temporary emergency housing was reached. During new seminary student orientation, President Lattimore consistently emphasizes that the Seminary campus was an actual Holiday Inn for many years. As it was purchased by the A.M.E. Zion Church over 20 years ago and converted to a school for graduate religious study, it has continued to be a place of hospitality and welcome. In Hood's mission statement, two of the four values undergird Hood's positive response to the RHM request. Those values define us as: A Community of welcome: for persons of all backgrounds and A Community of discernment and practical wisdom where we engage in practices that promote peace, justice, and mercy in all human relationships and institutions. We are neighbors in deed!