OBX Room In The Inn closes for summer, celebrates community support with special thank you dinner – OBX Today

OBX Room In The Inn closes for summer, celebrates community support with special thank you dinner - OBX Today
(Submitted)

OBX Room In The Inn, the only organization in Dare County dedicated to supporting the homeless on the Outer Banks, has officially closed its doors for the summer. The closure marks the end of another successful season of providing food and shelter for those in need. It also underscores the need for year-round shelter and uninterrupted support for the community. To honor the dedicated individuals who make the vital work OBX Room in the Inn possible, a special thank you dinner was held last week.

The event, catered by Pigman’s Bar-B-Que and Fresh Market, was sponsored by generous donors Chris Kelley Cimko and John Cimko. It brought together volunteers and coordinators from over 20 participating churches and businesses, all of whom play an important role in providing for the shelter. Namely, they are responsible for finding and delivering donations of food, clothing, supplies, and any other necessities that may be needed to care for each guest. Much time and care is spent in their hand-making of warm, family-style meals, often enjoyed together at the shelter. To brighten the holiday season, one anonymous volunteer even opted to take all 18 guests out for a three-course dinner at Blue Moon Beach Grill. 

“We have had an unbelievable fifteen years,” said incoming Board Chair, Bob Peele. “I remember loading mattresses into trucks as we went from church to church every week. We are lucky to have a home for our shelter now so that we don’t have to do that anymore, and I am thankful to everyone who had made this process better and easier – not just for our volunteers, but for the people we serve.”

During the dinner, OBX Room in the Inn proudly announced the recipients of the first-ever Innkeeper of the Year awards: Brannon Godfrey and Suzie Trainor. These individuals were recognized for their exceptional service and commitment to the shelter’s mission. Additionally, the event celebrated the Lifetime Innkeeper Awards, honoring those who’ve shown long-standing dedication to the shelter over the years. The awards were given to Mike Kelly, for his continued fundraising support through the annual Lunch to Go, and Jim Rose for continued access to a shelter space that has transformed the organization. 

“By the end of the season, all but a few guests found steady work and housing… I cannot tell you how much it pained me for us to close for the summer again this year due to lack of funding,” said Executive Director, Shari Fiveash, who has been hard at work with her team planning for a year-round shelter. “It is the most pressing need we are facing.”

The OBX Room in the Inn winter shelter will re-open on November 1st. For more information about how you can get involved, please email Shari Fiveash at obxroomintheinn@gmail.com.