It’s hard to explain what we do. We say that we are trying to live in community in such a way that our most vulnerable neighbors feel welcome. I’m not sure that paints a clear enough picture. So I thought I would share a little bit about what it looks like.
We organize our days around praying, eating and serving together. We have breakfast and lunch together; we have morning and afternoon prayer together; we serve the community together. We participate in life together – we don’t have volunteers that serve while others receive, rather we all serve and receive from one another. Food is prepared and served by the community, prayer is led by the community, and all clean and do “household responsibilities” (chores) together. In the afternoons we serve one another through individual counseling, help with resumes, women’s support, assistance with navigating social services, and anything else someone might need to flourish.
At Church on the Street you are either a part of the community or a guest. We don’t have “volunteers,” we have guests who quickly find their place alongside and then eventually within the community. Guests are often confused as to who the leaders are because they typically don’t look like (and sometimes smell like) what they were expecting. This holds true for our outreach ministries as well. At Saturday on the Street and during Parish Walks guests often find themselves making poor assumptions until they become more acclimated to who we are and what we do. They often ask, “Is that guy homeless or is he reaching out to the community?” The answer is often, “yes.”
It is not unusual to have 125 friends eating breakfast or lunch together everyday.
Today our community is supporting 11 members of the community in transitional housing or rehab. If we count just from the beginning of the year we have supported approximately 50 friends.
Throughout the month we are reminded that we are all wanted and loved when we celebrate birthdays together, both individually and in a monthly feast.
Through our life together people find meaning, belonging, hope, reconciliation and work. Not just the homeless, for we are not a homeless ministry, we are a community where all can discover Christ in their midst.
All of this takes enumberable resources from time to money. We are entering that time of the year where scarce resources become scant and to be quite honest we could use your help. If you are a part of our community, have been a part, or simply support what God is doing here please consider sharing financially. You can do so online by clicking here.