//HOMELESSNESS
 
Pray

 

For those experiencing homelessness: that they would know the love of God.

 

For provision for their needs, both urgent and long term.

 

For their health and wellness.

 

For people living in their cars and outside to remain safe.

 

For mutually beneficial relationships and friendship to be present in their lives.

 

For children experiencing homelessness and for the McKinney-Vento workers who help them navigate through school.

 

For mental health professionals to be able to serve well those in need.

 

For ways your congregation can partner with others to serve those in need.

 

For city officials to pass and enforce compassionate legislation.

 

For city officials and community leaders to continue to find interventions for homelessness.

 

For organizations who serve those experiencing homelessness: for the staff to be encouraged and for financial provision.

 
Learn

 

YouTube / Short films

 

 

Books

 

 

Q Commons / Ted Talks

 

 

Advocacy

 

Church Council of Greater Seattle: We sow the seeds of social change by working in partnership with congregations and individuals alike to speak and stand up for social justice and for systematic change.  We can arrange for educational discussions of social justice issues.  Invite us to worship, a temple talk, coffee hour, Bible Study, forum or a discussion.

 

Dialogue for Justice is an Archdiocesan-wide initiative that partners with parishes and Catholic organizations to effectively advocate to reduce poverty in our communities through educating grassroots advocates, organization advocacy gatherings, providing legislative briefings, coordinating and supporting in-district meetings with legislators, encouraging participation in Catholic Advocacy Day, and providing advocacy resources to parishes and groups. The Dialogue for Justice is sponsored by the Archdiocese of Seattle and coordinated by Catholic Community Services of Western Washington, the Intercommunity Peace & Justice Center, and the Washington State Catholic Conference.

 

FAITH (Faith Action In Transforming Homelesness): A faith-based program created to end homelessness in Washington State. We focus on political advocacy and getting people of faith involved in direct service. (FAITH is part of Dialogue for Justice.)

 

Seattle King County Coalition on Homelessness: Beyond the One Night Count is a two hour training that takes you  through “Advocacy 101,” a FUN training with the incomparable pro-democracy cheerleader Nancy Amidei. Together with local experts and allies, we present the facts about 3-4 important proposals, along with simple actions and sample messages. You will leave informed and inspired with tools for engaging your classmates, fellow congregants, neighbors and others to speak up and make a difference.

 

Interfaith Task Force on Homelessness: Provides training and information about advocacy around homelessness and poverty.

 

Associated Ministries: Associated Ministries is a Christian, ecumenical organization that partners with more than 250 Pierce County churches and interfaith partners to unite people of faith to build stronger communities

 

Individual

 

  • Take some time to read a book, or watch a TED talk on your own.

 

Small Group        

 

  • Have a book club or host a movie night as a group, where you can discuss books or movies about homelessness together.

  • Go through a Bible study on how God sees the poor.

  • Go to an art exhibit as a group.

  • Go to a photo exhibit as a group.

 

Church

 

 
Host a Drive

 

  • Contact your local shelter to find out what their urgent needs are. 

  • Some shelters have wish lists on their websites that change as their needs change. 

  • Collect items that are relevant to the season. Most shelters maximize their space to serve people and do not have space to store extra items that are not immediately needed. 

  • Generic Seasonal Items needed: 

Fall - cough drops, cold medication, socks, underwear, warm jackets, hygiene items 

Winter - cough drops, cold medication, socks, underwear, warm jackets, hygiene items 

Spring – socks, underwear, hygiene items, umbrellas, t-shirts, sweat pants, pajamas (children) 

Summer – flip flops, sunscreen, hygiene items, underwear, bottled water, t-shirts  

  • Collect items for your local shelter.  Offer to wash all clothing items before dropping them off to the shelter.   

  • Consider calling local schools, night clubs, churches, and other places with lost and found items (coats) that can be donated. 

 

Host a Drive – Small Groups 

 

  • Consider placing collection bins at your apartment or condominium complex. 

  • Call local hotels/motels to see if you can sort out their “used” toiletries, remember if you wouldn’t use it yourself, it should not be donated.  Feel free to sort out items that would be garbage, from items that may still be useable.  

 

Host a Drive – Churches  

 

  • Place collection bins in your lobby. 

  • Consider engaging your children’s ministry, or youth ministry, in collecting items. 

  • Engage small groups to participate in sorting and delivering items to local shelters.

 

 

 
Provide a Meal

 

 

Provide a Meal – Small Groups 

 

  • Consider making volunteering a regular part of your small group routine. 

  • Contact local businesses to see if you can collect and redistribute day-old food items to local shelters.  

 

Provide a Meal – Church 

 

  • Consider hosting a community meal at your church.  

  • Invite people from various socio-economic backgrounds to gather together at community meals. 

  • Consider adopting a local tent city to provide meals on a regular basis. 

  • Adopt times of the year that others are not volunteering. (Shelters get lots of volunteer requests for Thanksgiving, but very few in the summertime.  Most rely on volunteers every day.)

 
Safe Parking

 

 

Safe Parking  – Church 

 

  • Consider hosting a safe parking program at your church.  

  • For more information contact Dawn Zern 

 
Make a Hygiene Bag

 

Basic hygiene items can be difficult to acquire as many of these items cannot be purchased with food stamps and are difficult to find at food banks. Shelters often run low on these items.

 

Include the following items (all items should be sample-sized):

 

  • Bottle water

  • Socks

  • Underwear

  • Tampons/pads

  • Toothbrush/toothpaste

  • Deodorant

  • Shampoo/conditioner

  • Soap

  • Hand sanitizer

  • Razor/shaving cream

  • Granola bar

  • Sunscreen or cough drops (weather dependent)

  • Handwritten note

  • List of local resources (shelter addresses & phone numbers)

 

Individual

 

Make a bag to keep in your glovebox for when you see someone as you are commuting. 

 

Small Group

 

  • Consider going to local motels/hotels to collect unused sample size toiletries.

  • Get together as a group to assemble hygiene bags after your church does a toiletries drive.

  • Go out as a group and deliver hygiene bags to local tent cities.

  • Make holiday cards and add holiday cards and candy to hygiene bags around different holidays (St. Valentine’s, Halloween, St. Patrick’s Day, Independence Day, etc.).

       

Church

 

  • Do a toiletries drive.

  • Keep bags available in your lobby for those in need.Offer to let people use your public church facilities (bathrooms/showers) to use the restroom or take a shower.

  • Take a van full of volunteers to a local tent city or other places people congregate to deliver hygiene bags to those in need.