Our congregation has a long tradition of opening our doors to those in need. We are a founding congregation of Congregations for the Homeless, and have opened our doors each November for a rotating program shelter for men experiencing homelessness for more than two decades. The Sophia Way, for women experiencing homelessness, was founded within our walls, and continues its administrative offices in our building. Over the years we have hosted day centers, overnight shelters, and emergency shelters, as part of our heart for ministry. Especially at our previous location, we have welcomed a wide variety of mission connections.
With our church council’s support, I wanted to let you know of a group we are welcoming to the atrium this August. Catholic Community Services (CCS) has asked us if we would be willing to house the rotating family shelter for the month of August. This is an emergency shelter, in particular for families with minors who are 17 and younger, many of whom are very young children. As we understand it, over half of those who stay in the shelter are children. We are glad to have the opportunity to support families, to provide a safe space to sleep, even while we recognize that we are still learning how ministries work in our new building.
The shelter hours start late (8:30pm) and end early, so there will not be much overlap in programming, but we wanted to be sure you knew about this ministry in our space. We do not have volunteer requirements, as we do with the November shelter, but if you are interested in supporting the shelter there are a few opportunities.
The Emergency Family Shelter welcomes meals for the families each night, and a sign up and instructions can be found here: https://signup.com/client/invitation2/secure/1922673/false#/invitation
In addition, our Outreach board will be collecting baby formula, diapers and wipes for the shelter—bring any contributions to the church office.
On a personal note, when we last hosted a family shelter in 2016, I found it to be personally affecting to see babies carried in car seats into our church building to have a safe place to sleep at night. Thank you for the ways you support as we learn together how we might serve our wider community and provide needed shelter.
← View all Reflections