by Laura Slattery, Executive Director, November 2015
For those of you who have been supporters of the Gubbio Project for the last several years, you know that a theme of ours during that time has been encouraging other places of worship to open their doors to those living on the streets the way that St. Boniface Catholic Church has done for the last 11 years. We have touted the benefits of opening one’s sanctuary to the homeless guests, the volunteers, and the parish. We have quoted Scripture and the pope; given rational, theological, and practical arguments about sacred space; preached in a number of churches; and talked on the phone with scores of religious leaders.
Well, it looks like the work, and the Spirit, have made it happen. Starting in December, gratefully before the worst of the El Nino effects begin, we hope to partner with St. John the Evangelist Episcopal Church in the Mission for 4 hours each weekday. It will be a pilot project for the next 7 months. We hope to provide the same essential services that we have been providing at St. Boniface – weekly breakfasts, massage, haircuts, HIV testing, and foot care – at this second location.
As we have done for the past 11 years, we will continue to provide “sacred sleep” to the hundred plus people who seek an oasis from the streets of the Tenderloin at St. Boniface. We will continue to provide a ministry of presence, essential items such as toiletries, socks, and blankets, access to bathrooms, and referrals to where guests can get much needed services. At the request of the parish, however, we will no longer provide the breakfasts, haircuts, and other services that we used to provide.
Thank you for all the support that you have given over the years as we continue to walk with, and be in community with, our brothers and sisters who live on the streets, worship in the pews, and live in the area.