"Sacred Sleep" Program to start in Toledo
Rev Katherine Olson of St. Paul's Lutheran Church
in Toledo, OH was inspired by the recent article
in the Huffington Post about The Gubbio Project. Olson was moved, not only by what she read about our project within the article, but also by the comment section in which hundreds of people responded (many saying that The Gubbio Project demonstrates what they think church should be about). The St Paul community is now moving toward providing "sacred sleep" in the sanctuary of their church as well!
We are really excited to see other faith communities sharing their space with those around them who need it!
St Paul's Lutheran Church in Toledo, OH will begin providing a place for homeless to rest in their sanctuary
Is Hobo a Bad Word? ~from the Director
This is the question a 7th grader from Lipman Middle School asked when he visited the Project last Fall. He and his class had just walked over to St. Boniface from the Asian Art Museum and had seen a lot of folks hanging out and even sleeping on the streets.
His question raises another question for me. Is homeless a 'bad word?' On the one hand, it is just an adjective referring to people who don't have a place to live indoors. When used in this way, no, it is no more a 'bad word' than when someone is referring to a man who would ride the railways looking for work as a hobo.
Yet, I think there is real danger in the word homeless. Even when it is said without malice or pity, many of us hear it as shorthand for "those people who loiter around, use drugs, and/or are mentally ill." If a ready image materializes in our heads when we say or hear the word homeless, it has become a word that no longer serves us. When we say the word, and get a knowing nod from the listener, the word has already become a 'bad' word because it allows us to believe we know something (or even lots of things) about the experience of the referenced person, when in fact, we still no nothing more about her than she is not sleeping in a place she calls her own.
Perhaps the 'bad' part of a 'bad word' is in the eye, or mind, of the beholder, and if any word makes us think that we are not connected to the person being talked about, described, or referenced, or that that person is somehow no longer our brother or our sister, then that word has indeed become 'bad' for us.
Gubbio featured on St. Anthony Blog
From "Peace in the Pews" an article on the St. Anthony Blog written by Intern, Tyler Merkel:
In my wanderings around the church, I visited with a woman by the name of Ivy, a self-proclaimed regular. She lamented on how utterly worn she was from tumultuous events in her life as of late. With every step forward to a better life, the loss of a potential job, depression and struggles with addiction took her back to the starting point. As our conversation was approaching it's end, she cast a smile upward to the magnificently painted ceiling, and in one perfect moment made all the work of the Gubbio Project worth it, "Despite everything, this is the one place I really have peace".
Read the full article and check out the St. Anthony blog here.