Interfaith Shelter Network Signups January 4 through February 1, 2015!

Join Northminster in helping the homeless!  Signups to help out with this year’s Interfaith Shelter Network Rotation will begin Sunday, January 4, 2015 after worship service.  This year as in the past 20 + years, the Northminster congregation will serve as a support congregation for a homeless shelter that will be set up at Clairemont Lutheran Church across the street from Northminster.  On February 7, 8, and 9, Northminster will be responsible for providing donations for breakfast and lunches, cooking dinner for about 12 homeless individuals, and providing one or more persons to spend the night at the church

The Interfaith Shelter Network involves 120 congregations of all faith denominations countywide in a Rotational Shelter program. About 60 of the congregations host the program in their facilities for two or four weeks a year.  The remaining congregations serve in a valuable support role, providing volunteers for meals and overnight hosting, transportation and donations. 

Through the effort of neighborhood congregations partnering together, homeless individuals and families receive shelter, understanding and support, when previously all they knew was fear and uncertainty. Congregations benefit by getting to know homeless individuals personally and the mutual sharing of stories is beneficial to both. 

Guests are only sent to congregations in the Network after being screened by an area social service agency to assure there will be no active drug, alcohol or mental health problems. Guests sent to the Network's congregations must be willing to work closely with the referring social service agency to resolve the problems leading to their homelessness. 

This is a practical, manageable way to serve, for both host and support congregations. Congregations host the program for two weeks at a time, usually once, but no more than twice a year. The volunteer and meal support they receive from neighboring congregations is invaluable.  Generally, 12 guests at a time stay in the congregation facilities. At the end of two weeks, the guests rotate to another area congregation. Guests usually stay up to eight weeks in the Network, or until they find housing.

 There are many ways to help.  This is a great volunteer opportunity for friends, families and organizations to work together in this important mission.   It could be a perfect Growth Group project!  To learn more please visit our table on the patio after the worship service, or call the church office at (858) 490-3995.

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