by Valorie Crout, AM’s Chief Program Officer
Associated Ministries began hosting Community Quarterly Meetings this past January. At the meeting, people of faith and goodwill explore ways to impact homelessness. Participants have been coming up with solid solutions and tangible action steps to decrease homelessness in our community.
Sparks have been ignited!
Several congregations are talking about ways to be better supporters of the Tacoma Rescue Mission Shelter and the Family Housing Network Shelter. They are excited about Shared Housing Services, which connects people who are experiencing homelessness to homeowners who have an extra room to offer as housing.
Another result: People of faith are donating toiletries, bus passes, socks, and underwear for people when they spend the night in local shelters. These are small things but they make a big difference in the lives of individuals and families who are experiencing homelessness.
Two Gig Harbor congregations are exploring ways to impact homelessness in their area, too. One congregation already identified six members who are willing to offer a room to a household experiencing homelessness. The other congregation is interested in exploring what it would take to provide safe parking for households living in their cars. A couple of churches in the Tacoma area are exploring the safe parking option, as well.
A member of a congregation in the Tacoma area met recently with Associated Ministries’ staff to brainstorm a strategy to build a 20-unit building to provide affordable housing in the Hilltop area.
These actions taken so far highlight the outcomes of only three Community Quarterly meetings. Imagine what the next three meetings will bring!
Three individuals who are experiencing homelessness attended a recent workshop on homelessness. One individual said, “Our friends are the churches”. Another confirmed, “Our friends and allies are faith-based organizations.” Their hope lies within the faith community!
Join us on December 5th from 4-6pm for the next Community Quarterly Meeting at Bethlehem Baptist Church, 4818 East Portland Ave in Tacoma. Be part of conversations that are changing people’s lives and positively impacting the crisis of homelessness.
For more information about upcoming Community Quarterly Meetings, please contact Valorie Crout, Chief Program Officer, at 253-426-1508 or email@example.com.