Pierce County Clergy Unite to Address Homelessness
On Dec. 12 Pierce County faith leaders delivered an inspiring statement to our community by demonstrating united commitment to bring hope to our unhoused neighbors through a joint declaration that was presented at AM’s Community Quarterly Meeting.
In the midst of the County’s homelessness crisis, the community is looking for answers. Faith leaders understand the important and unique role that congregations can play in bringing hope in the midst of this crisis. That’s why 40 faith leaders from many traditions chose to stand together and declare their commitment to care for their neighbors experiencing homelessness by signing the declaration.
Here is the full text:
Declaration Concerning our Homeless Sisters and Brothers
by Religious Leaders in Pierce County
Is not this the fast that I choose: to share your bread with the hungry, and bring the homeless poor into your house? Isaiah 58: 6, 7
I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me. Matthew 25:35
Those needy ones who are hindered from moving about the earth in search of their livelihood especially deserve help. Quran 2:273
As religious leaders in Pierce County, we are moved by the call of our ancient traditions to listen to the cry of those who struggle with homelessness and to respond to their plight with sustained assistance and robust advocacy.
We deplore the demonization of children, parents, the elderly, and single persons who are forced to live on the street, in cars, and temporary shelters due to circumstances beyond their control. Our sacred texts encourage us to see the homeless as fellow human beings, as children of God – our neighbors in need at this moment in their lives.
We hold that housing is neither a luxury nor an option only for those who can afford it, but a fundamental human right that demands sustained action from public, private, and civic sectors. We believe it is the first and solemn duty of public servants to care for the public good. We commit ourselves and our many religious communities to work with all people of conscience who are committed to adequate, affordable, and sustainable housing for all who dwell in our County.
In this region of the country marked by wealth and abundance, we commit ourselves to walk with people who are homeless and rejoice when they are empowered to promote their right to shelter and security, free from anxiety and fear. We commit ourselves to be servants of a real and tangible hope made possible through wise counsel and loving action.
Since 2017 Associated Ministries has been bringing people of faith and goodwill together to take action on homelessness, holding Community Quarterly Meetings each quarter for the past three years. More than 400 attendees representing 72 local faith communities have attended during that time. Watch this space for information about attending the Community Quarterly Meetings in 2020. If you are a faith leader who is interested in signing the declaration, please contact Valorie Crout, Chief Program Officer for Associated Ministries at 253-426-1508 or firstname.lastname@example.org.