Watchmen of the Streets: From the Bridge to Belize

As Mother Teresa often shared: “We can do no big things, only small things with great love.” 

“That’s kind of who we are right now,” says Watchmen of the Streets founder, Heath Burchett. “We focus on doing the small things one-on-one in people’s lives. That’s what made Mother Teresa so great.”

Watchmen of the Streets is a Christian, non-profit founded in 2009, that shares faith, friendship, and hope for the future with the local homeless. There are always miracles happening along the way, and in the case of Ray Shore, a true life-long impact.

“We served Ray under the bridge while he was experiencing homelessness,” explains Heath. “Even while he was homeless he would volunteer with us, and help his neighbors who were in need. Many times he refused things from us, saying someone else needed them more.”

Heath adds that the group of volunteers has gained a valuable, lifelong friend in Ray — and a truly faithful volunteer.


“The past three years Ray has been off the streets, and a caregiver to his father in Rock Hill, SC,” explains Heath. “Despite the drive, he comes to every fundraiser, event, and homeless outreach that he possibly can. He says he wants to repay the debt he owes Watchmen of the Streets for helping him, as well as continue to provide for those in great need. To us, there is no debt at all — we love him and he is one of our strongest volunteers! Who would have thought back in 2013 — or during the 10 years we served him — that he would be off the streets and now helping others all he can, while raising his own funds to go on a mission trip to Belize.”

The mission “From the Bridge to Belize” took place May 6 – May 13, and participants included Heath, Ray, Jessica Fischer, Kelly West, Miguel Chavez, and Lennox Barnett. The group served in several ministries that Watchmen of the Streets—Habit Missions set up in 2009, and handed over to local volunteers to oversee there on a regular basis. Those included the Homeless Outreach (feeding, hearing stories, and praying for folks in Belize City who live in terrible conditions on the streets), providing groceries, bibles, flashlights, and of course prayers, to impoverished families living in wooden shacks in San Mateo and London Bridges (areas most locals won’t even visit due to gang violence), the Youth Rally (where youth were able to reach out to teens involved with gangs, or those who don’t attend church, through dance, reggae, hip hop, singing and worship), and worship services, where volunteers led services with local volunteers in Belize to encourage and strengthen those crucial, ongoing relationships.


Throughout every endeavor Ray is a hope for many, and a definite “ray” of sunshine for all involved in the program! Even with his own struggles of anxiety and PTSD, he encourages all those around him — acknowledging that once you’ve been homeless, you never forget that feeling — no matter how hard you try.

Heath says it’s interesting — and surprising — to hear people say they have heard of Watchmen of the Streets, yet there are even more that say they have never heard of the organization, and never knew anyone did what his group does.

“We believe the items we hand out are absolutely needed for the survival of many of our friends on the streets, yet the most powerful things that lead to achieved hopes and dreams are the personal relationships we form with them,” he adds.

Watchmen of the Streets ministers to the homeless who live under bridges, on the streets, and in homeless encampments in the woods around the Charlotte area, and throughout N.C., S.C., and even other countries. Resources for housing, medical aid, addiction recovery, food, clothing, and spiritual guidance are provided, with aid being brought directly to camps, where relationships are formed and many prayers are prayed. For more information and how you can volunteer, visit


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