Homeless Issue #90

Number 90 for this Newsletter advocating for the homeless in our community, those who have the very least. Once a month for 7-8 years and in the beginning I did not number them. That goes back to when just a very few of us where out serving the single homeless persons in our community. Winter nights, us volunteers slept on the floor overnight at the Seventh Day Adventist Church up in Camino. And then just a few of us where then going into the Manzanita behind K-Mart, city parks, parking lots and a few other “hide-outs” around the area providing the necessities for surviving homelessness..  We have made friends and held crying persons who were scared, angry, hopeless and helpless, then see them die lonely and afraid.
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I have a list of 68 churches in our area. Only 8 churches attempt to carry this burden of giving our homeless a place to lie down and sleep in a dry, safe, environment, and provide these single homeless citizens of our community during the winter months with a space inside a building. Five allow the space in their facilities to be used for overnight, and three others regularly send their volunteers to the hosting churches to provide extra help. 8 out of 68????? Yes, I have heard over and over again “we take care of our own.” “Our own?” … All homeless are our own!
                   The Samaritan story is forgotten
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JSS does pick up clothing from various churches and organizations for distribution to this population. Without these donations people would be freezing in the street, behind buildings, in the woods. We are grateful for these donations. Our fellow citizens who are homeless are grateful for that donation. However, we still have Tuesday nights where we have no church opening their facility to allow the homeless to sleep inside a building. Surely some church within those 60 churches has some space to allow 40 people to lie down and go to sleep. At Foothills UMC the homeless sleep in the back of the sanctuary, near the “coffee” kitchen. The same sanctuary where Sunday services are held. Very appropriate in fact.
If you have space to allow the Nomadic Shelter to use,         Please contact Rev. William Swift at….
wsswift@att.net. …
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We are now in a New Year and up for a New Adventure.