Interfaith Shelter at PLCPC
March 9 -23, 2019
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, nearly 9,000 of our neighbors are homeless (according to the Regional Task Force for the Homeless' 2018 Homelessness Summary Fact Sheet, 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: http://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 are opportunities for individuals to minister to shelter guests, for groups to provide meals, and for donations & financial support. PLCPC will again house 12-14 guests from March 9 -23, 2019. 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
Volunteer Position Descriptions
You will be responsible for:
- greeting the guests as they come in each night.
- getting the keys to the FLC so you can lock the doors at 9 pm, the emergency phone and Interfaith Shelter notebook
- eating with the guests
- helping them to make their bag lunches after dinner for the next day
- helping the guests with questions after dinner, keeping the noise level down, helping to keep a homey atmosphere until lights out
- locking the doors to the FLC at 9 pm and turning off the lights.
- bringing your own sleeping bag. You will be sleeping in a separate room from the guests and you may lock the door to your room.
- turning on the lights at 6 am
- helping them with breakfast
- making sure the guests are all out of the FLC at 7 am.
- locking up the FLC and leaving the keys and phone on the desk in the overnight sleeping room.
You will be responsible for:
- interacting with the guests and playing with the children if there are any in the Shelter
- helping the guests with laundry in the FLC kitchen
- helping with lunch if your shift falls over lunch time