Interfaith Shelter at PLCPC
2019 dates tbd
Isaiah 58:7 asks “Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and to bring the homeless poor into your house…?” Why should we try to do something about homelessness? Beyond scriptural exhortations to care for those in need, take a look at some of the facts.
In San Diego County, over 9,000 of our neighbors are homeless (9,116 according the Regional Task Force for the Homeless 2017 count, though all experts agree that the actual number is far higher). Less than 2,000 emergency shelter beds exist, and many factors limit individuals’ eligibility for a bed. Families with school-age children represent one-quarter of our homeless population. The number of tents and hand-built shelters on city streets has more than doubled in the past years. In recent months, an outbreak of Hepatitis A, largely affecting the homeless, has sickened over 400 and killed many. The statistics go on and on… The problem is complex and requires a diverse array of solutions.
What can we do about homelessness as individuals? As a church?
Pray – While the problem is great, our God is greater. Pray for those who are unsheltered. Pray for those who serve them. Pray for wisdom for the leaders in our churches, our government, and the organizations who serve the homeless.
Learn – Browse. Read. Ask. A great place to start is the website: understandhomelessness.com. Several media outlets have reported extensively on the problem; articles can be accessed on their websites, including KPBS and the Union Tribune.
Serve – Don’t let the overwhelming nature of the problem prevent you from taking a small, first step to help. Get involved in the upcoming Interfaith Shelter at PLCPC. Give your time or financial support to a local ministry serving the homeless, including Presbyterian Urban Ministries, Uplift San Diego, Loaves and Fishes, OB Community Dinners, Ladle Fellowship, and many more.
There will be opportunities for individuals to minister to shelter guests, for groups to provide meals, and for donations & financial support. PLCPC housed 12-14 guests from February 24-March 10, 2018. We plan of repeating this event in 2019 as well. All guests will be actively working with case managers at Presbyterian Urban Ministries to seek employment, long-term housing, and other services. Individuals with active substance abuse or mental health problems are directed to other shelters that have resources appropriate for their needs. More information on the program, including an excellent video, can be found at www.interfaithshelter.org