AFC Logo

Association of Faith Communities (AFC)

of Santa Cruz County

View This Site with Frames - View This Site as a Full Page

bullet"Faith Communities Walking Our Talk Together" Conference - Friday September 5, 2014

bulletAbout the AFC

bulletResource Directory

bullet Recreational Vehicle Parking

bullet Faith Community Shelter, formerly Interfaith Satellite Shelter Program (ISSP)

bullet Socks for People in Need (SPIN)

bullet Representation on The AFC Steering Committee

bullet Join the AFC today

bullet Our Founding Principals and Mission Statement

bullet Contact Us

bullet Links

bullet Learn More About "Not The Other" Oral Histories of People experiencing Homelessness on the "Not The Other" Website

"Walking Our Talk Together" Conference September 5, 2014

photo of Calvary LCHurch Grounds

The AFC is sponsoring a "Walking Our Talk Together" Conference and Ministries Fair on Friday September 5, 2014 at Calvary Episcopal Church at 532 Center Street in Downtown Santa Cruz. We invite all faith community members and others who are working to help people who are living in poverty, in economic need, or help people who are experiencing homelessness. We invite you to come to the conference and ministries fair and to participate.

We have lined up an exciting list of speakers who are at the cutting edge of developments in the effort to help those in need and particularly those who are experiencing homelessness.

The "Faith Communities Walking Our Talk Together" conference begins at 2:00 PM. A reception and ministries fair will follow at 5:00 PM. The conference will address both the collaborative and individual efforts of local faith communities in response to poverty and human suffering in Santa Cruz County.

Our speakers include Santa Cruz City Vice Mayor Don Lane who will be speaking in his capacity as Chairperson of the Smart Solutions to Homelessness Leadership Council; Megan Joseph, Director of Community Organizing of United Way; Phil Kramer of 180/180 and 180/2020; keynote speaker Pastor Stephen De Fields Gambrel of the Circle Church; Rev. Dr. Steven Stiles of New Like Center Church; Pastor Cordelia Stranfdskov of Peace United Church of Christ; Fr. Joel Miller of Calvary Episcopal Church; Jim Young of Community Covenant Church of Scotts Valley and WINGS; Irene Lennox of Holy Cross Food Pantry; Deacon Parick Conway of Resurrection Catholic Community; Pastor Jay Pierce of United Methodist Church and other speakers representing the faith community.

This conference offers an opportunity for faith communities to come together to share their experiences, to develop a collective vision of the future serving those in need, and to get an early glimpse of the developing county-wide plan to end homelessness in Santa Cruz County. We will explore the faith community role in this effort in during the three hour conference and at the reception and ministries fair to follow the conference.

To learn more about the conference or to obtain a copy of conference promotional materials, please see one or more of the files listed below:

Conference Poster

Conference Brochure

Conference Agenda

For more information on the September 5th conference, please contact scott@afcsantacruz.org

Back To The Top

About the Association of Faith Communities of Santa Cruz County

The Association of Faith Communities (AFC) is an unincorporated association of local faith communities in Northern Santa Cruz County. The Association formed to foster coordination between faith communities, to support the efforts of our members in their collective ministries to who are living in poverty, who are in economic need, or who are homeless, and to assist our members in enhancing the effectiveness of our individual and collective efforts. Membership in the Association of Faith Communities is open to all faith communities organized as 501c3 corporations in Santa Cruz County.

Every faith community regardless of form has as a core value helping those who are suffering due to injustice, poverty, homelessness or disability. We are committed to honor and serve the faith communities of Santa Cruz County in their myriad forms, whether Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Protestant, nondenominational Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, Islamic, or communities of other faiths.

The Association of Faith Communities is be governed by a Board of Directors. Members of the Board of Directors are appointed by AFC member faith communities.

Faith communities wishing to join the AFC are requested to contact the Secretary of the AFC Board of Directors at scott@afcsantacruz.org.

The Association of Faith Communities Leadership Council (AFC Leadership Council) is a standing committee of the Board of Directors of the Association of Faith Communities. The AFC Leadership Council includes members of the Board of Directors, other representatives of faith communities in Santa Cruz County, representatives of other public and non-profit organizations, or individuals. The Leadership Council operates under the general direction of the Board of Directors of the Association. The AFC Leadership Council assisst the Board of Directors in the development of new AFC initiatives; oversight of current AFC initiatives; outreach efforts; liaison with faith communities not affiliated with the Association and public sector and non-profit organizations working on behalf of people who are living in poverty, who are in economic need, or who are homeless. The AFC Leadership Council also reviews AFC initiatives and make recommendations to the Board of Directors on these initiatives and other matters of interest to the Leadership Council. Membership of the AFC Leadership Copuncil is open.

The AFC Leadership Counci meets on the first Thursday of each month at 5:00 PM in the fireside room in the parish hall at Calvary Episcopal Church located at 532 Center Street in Santa Cruz. Refreshments are served. The meetings adjourn promptly at 6:30 PM.

We would be pleased to add you or a representative of your faith community to the AFC Steering Committee mailing list. Our members invite you or your representative to join us on the AFC Steering Committee.

Our current and planned projects are:

1. Directory of Services Provided by Area Faith Communities

The AFC Inventory Committee's efforts to complete the survey and publish a directory of services to those in need provided by faith communities in northern Santa Cruz County will continue to be a work in progress. One hundred and thurty-four (134) faith communities were originally contacted for information so that we could compose our directory.

The first posting of the directory on this site was on February 26, 2012. The Faith Community Resource Guide, a .pdf file, displays the information that has been received to date. We designed this Resource Guide to be used by those who are in need of services and by other groups in Santa Cruz County that provide services to those in need. If your faith community is not listed, we welcome you to complete the inventory form in .pdf format or in .doc format and e-mail it to scott@afcsantacruz.org, or send the form to us by surface mail to:

AFC
c/o Calvary Episcopal Church
532 Center St.
Santa Cruz, CA 95060.

If your faith comunity is listed and your program changes in any way splease send changes to the above e-mail or street address.

Back To The Top

2. Recreational Vehicle Parking Program

Over 3,500 people sleep outside or in automobiles in Santa Cruz County every night. The City of Santa Cruz, the County of Santa Cruz and the City of Capitola permit limited Recreational Vehicle (RV) camping at church facilities with some restrictions. One of those restrictions is that the County has four exempt zones that do not permit RV Camping. The Recreational Vehicle Parking Committee has developed a document titled "Interfaith Satellite Shelter Project Recreational Vehicle Guest Program." This program is designed to assist by local churches in establishing an RV program at their church. Representatives of the AFC subcommittee responsible for this effort stand ready upon request to visit to faith communites throughout northern Santa Cruz County to discuss how the AFC can assist faith communities in establishing and managing RV parking programs.

The "Safe Spaces Parking Program"; is described in detail in the Safe Space Parking Program Presentation. This presentation can be viewed on this website or downloaded. This is the latest version of the Safe Spaces Parking Program tailored for use by faith communities in the City of Santa Cruz and in the unincorporated portions of Santa Cruz County. It can be viewed as as slide presentation or downloaded and printed.

Back To The Top

3. Faith Comunity Shelter

Reestablishment of the Interfaith Satellite Shelter Program (ISSP)

issp volunteers serving meal The Association of Faith Communities (AFC) Steering Committee reestablished the Interfaith Satellite Shelter Program (ISSP) in the winter of 2012. Administration is provided by the AFC Board of Directors and an “Sponsor’s Group” consisting of representatives of the six participating churches. The Sponsor's Group" includes representatives from Calvary Episcopal Church, Trinity Presbyterian Church, The Circle Church, Peace United Church of Christ, Holy Cross Catholic Church, and United Methodist Church. The program was nenamed "Faith Community Shelter" in 2014.

Faith Community Shelter currently operates seven (7) nights per week. We shelter up to eighteen people each night of the week.

Faith Community Shelter operates seven nights per week at First Congregational Church on Sunday, Calvary Episcopal Church on Monday, the Circle Church on Tuesday, Trinity Presbyterian Church on Wednesday, Holy Cross Catholic Church on Thursday, United Methodist Church on Friday, and the Circle Church again on Saturday.  These six churches provide an evening meal as part of an ongoing community meal or as a special meal for the overnight guests and a take-out breakfast in the morning.

The 2013 Homeless Census conducted by Applied Survey Research of Watsonville tells us that over 3,500 people are homeless without shelter on any given night in Santa Cruz County. Perhaps the most vulnerable among the homeless are single women and women with children, but most of those who died on the streets last year were single men. The need is great in all demographic groups. Currently the Faith Community Shelter guests include women with children, families, single women and single men, with an emphasis on those who would be most vulnerable if they remained unsheltered.

There is need for additional financial support for Faith Community Shelter. Although Faith Community Shelter is extremely cost effective, we need funds to provide meals, maintain and transport bedding, and provide a small stipend to our part-time shelter managers. Our main source of funding comes from each of the six participating churches and from donations and fund-raisers sponsored by these churches and other AFC churches. Calvary Episcopal Church provides the treasury function for Faith Community Shelter.

Is there a need for more faith communities to join the Faith Community Shelter shelter effort? Unquestionably there is a great need. Faith Community Shelter is successful but we have a need for more churches to join us in this effort. One of the best and most unique features of Faith Community Shelter is that the guests participate in the operation of the shelters and in preparation of the evening and morning meals. In the process of offering a shelter, we are building community and reuniting our guests with community.

Back To The Top

4. Development of an all year shelter to replace the National Guard Armory

The Steering Committee supports the ongoing efforts to establish an all year homeless shelter to find a replacement for the seasonal shelter at the National Guard Armory. An all-year shelter will create opportunities not possible at the Armory and could reduce operating cost while improving efficiency and effectiveness. Although we are not directly involved in the development of this project as an organization, some of our Steering Committee members are directly involved, We see a role for the collective faith communities in assisting in and complementing the services to be provided at a permanent shelter if a shelter is developed.

Back To The Top

5. Socks for People in Need (SPIN) Program

SPIN Logo -socks on feet

The Socks for People in Need (SPIN) program is designed to use existing church clothing and food distribution outlets and meal sites to collect donations and distribute socks for people in need.

Every morning most of us put on a clean pair of socks without much thought. But for our community’s homeless and families in need, fresh socks are often a luxury that they cannot afford. Because they are often on their feet all day, the only pair of socks they may own is likely to be dirty, wet or full of holes. New socks are a blessing for many reasons, especially health and hygiene, but they also provide comfort and a sense of dignity.

SPIN: Socks for People In Need, is an exciting new program (sponsored by the Association of Faith Communities) in the Santa Cruz area. Our mission is very simple: reaching out to help our brothers and sisters in need by providing them with clean NEW socks. Our plan is also very simple: collect socks / collect donations to buy socks, and then distribute them to people in need throughout the area. You can help in several different ways:

bullet Donate NEW socks by placing them in the well-marked SOX BOX located at your church. Basic white crew socks are appreciated by everyone, but you could also choose to donate socks specifically for women or children.

bullet Make a financial donation toward the purchase of socks. SPIN has a VERY low-cost (but high-quality) local source for socks. We will purchase the socks and deliver them to your church or to one of several community-based distribution points.

bullet Sock drives encourage kindness and thoughtful awareness among people of all ages. You could to organize a sock drive at your school or office, in your neighborhood or among friends and family members.

bullet Learn more about The AFC SPIN program by viewing a television Interview of SPIN Program Organizer Pat Lorenzo by Santa Cruz Revival

Please join us in this very meaningful new project. Contact scott@afcsantacruz.org for further information.

Back To The Top

6. Funding Initiatives

The Steering Committee is continuing to explore ways to plan and implement an effective grant function for the AFC and its member organizations. A number of community organizations and individuals have provided funding to support the ISSP shelter program, the SPIN programm and other programs operated by AFC and its members.

Back To The Top

7. Join The AFC

Membership in the AFC is open to all faith communities in Santa Cruz County.

Our Leadership Council members represent Calvary Episcopal Church, The Circle Church, Peace United Church of Christ, Holy Cross Catholic Church, Resurrection Catholic Church, Santa Cruz Revival, St. Stephen's Lutheran Church, Trinity Presbyterian Church, the Episcopal Church of St. John The Baptist, Twin Lakes Church, the Homeless Services Center, Applied Survey Research, The Homeless Persons Legal Project, Teh Oral Histories Projectc and other organizations.

Our Leadership Council meetings are open to all interested members of faith communities and to others who are working to improve the lives of those who are living in poverty, who are in economic need, or who are homeless,in Santa Cruz County.

The best way to contact the AFC is to send e-mail to afc@solopublications.com

Back To The Top

Our Founding Principals and Mission Statement

The Founding Principals, Mission Statement, and Objectives as adopted read:

a. Founding Principles:

We see that every faith community regardless of form has as a core value helping those who are suffering due to injustice, poverty, homelessness or disability.

We are committed to honor and serve the faith communities of Santa Cruz County in their myriad forms, whether Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Protestant, nondenominational Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, Islamic, or communities of other faiths.

b. Mission Statement

Our mission as an Association of Faith Communities in Santa Cruz County is to coordinate the efforts of our members in their collective ministries to people who are living in poverty, who are economic need, or who are homeless and to assist our members in enhancing the effectiveness of our individual and collective efforts.

c. Objectives:

i. Creating a directory of current ministries provided by faith communities to our target population,

ii. Enhancing the ministries that we collectively provide,

iii. Communicating information about these ministries to those in need, and to the community at large,

iv. Planning new services to meet the needs of our target population,

v. Identifying and attracting new financial and other resources to fund existing and new services, and

vi. Coordinating our efforts with secular private non-profit and government entities that provide services to our target population or that set public policy affecting this population.

Back To The Top

Contact Us

Contact the AFC at scott@afcsantacruz.org

Back To The Top

Links

Link Contents

bulletAFC Steering Committee Representation

bullet Learn More About "Not The Other" Oral Histories of People experiencing Homelessness

bullet Information on Services to Homeless in Santa Cruz County

Organizations Represented on the AFC Leadership Council:

Peace United Church of Christ

Calvary Episcopal Church

The Circle Church

Holy Cross Catholic Church

Resurrection Catholic Community

Trinity Presbyterian Church

United Methodist Church

Santa Cruz Revival

St. Stephen's Lutheran Church

Universal Church of Baba's Kitchen

Community Covenant Church of Scotts Valley

Episcopal Church of St. John The Baptist

Homeless Services Center

Homeless Persons Legal Assistance Project

Oral Histories Project

Applied Survey Research

Information on Services to Homeless People in Santa Cruz County

Back To The Top

Community Action Board

Community Action Board Resource Guide

August 22, 2014