~ submitted by Anton DeWet
Dear Friends in Faith,
As this system of economic injustice continues to scar our society we experience the plight of the poor in its harshest manifestations as those who sleep on the streets and under bridges. They have run out of resources and relationships. May we never become desensitized to their suffering.
If your congregation or individuals in your congregations feel moved to render a hand of compassion, we have found another way to save one family at a time. I say another, because I know that many of you are individually or collectively doing much to alleviate this painful reality in your own way.
A Covenant of Hope
In collaboration with JOIN, First Congregational Portland is helping pilot a program in which we are trying to save one family at a time from homelessness. We strive to offer this family 6 months of respite through moving them into a home, paying the rent, offering them the gift of community through volunteer interaction and friendship, even as JOIN and other institutions work to get them ready for a more permanent work/housing solution.
We have a 35% increase in homeless families and all the housing facilities available are overrun. We define family as an adult(or more) with at least one child under 18 in their household. Fr. Paul Schroeder, Director of New City Initiative is another partner in this effort and assures me that we are buying valuable time for each family.
What Does it Cost?
- $800 per month for three months rent. That’s all! JOIN with subsidize that with another three months rent.
- A core group of volunteers (training to be offered) who will stay in touch with the family through calls, visits and invitations.
- We will furnish their home with the basic necessities such as beds, blankets, eating utensils, etc., and everything the congregation might be able to contribute. We also have access to other sources of furniture.
If this is too much…
…then we might be able to see if there is another person/congregation that might be able to partner with yours to lessen the financial burden.
If you have any questions feel free to email me at email@example.com or call me 503-228-7219.
A blessed New Year to you. Anton DeWet