A small effort all year. A larger effort during the worst.
Faith Community Shelter Winter Shelter
More than a place to sleep, the Rotating Shelter works to build an intentional community among our participants. A place where respect, responsibility, accountability and God's love can create the change inside that leads to a better life.
One of the key features of Faith Community Shelter is that the guests participate in the operation of the shelter and in preparation of the evening and morning meals. The volunteer cooks share dinner and fellowship with our guests. Together, this builds community and reunites our guests with community. From this comes new self awareness and acceptance. Coupled with active case management, our guests find jobs, services and housing. We are a transitional housing program always looking to move folks on to a better place.
Our Rotating Shelter operates seven nights per week at Peace United, Calvary Episcopal , Trinity Presbyterian, The Star of The Sea Catholic , the Shrine of St. Joseph, United Methodist , St. Philip and St. John's Episcopal , Resurrection Catholic, and The Salvation Army.
These Host Sites provide and share an evening meal and a take-out breakfast in the morning. Many other faith communities prepare meals for the shelter or provide other support services.
Faith Community Shelter is successful, but the need is great. The AFC can double it efforts with an additional four Host Sites. Speak with the leaders of your congregation. Could you provide floor space for 20 people to sleep one night a week?
Although Faith Community Shelter is extremely cost effective, we need funds to provide meals, maintain and transport bedding, and pay our part-time shelter staff. Our main source of funding is donations from people like you who see the need to provide a hand up and not just a hand out.
The 2017 homeless count tells us that there are around 2,000 people without shelter on any given night in Santa Cruz County. The worst nights are during the winter months when the rain and cold can kill.
The Winter Shelter takes in up to 120 people a night from Nov. to April. Folks drop off their stuff at Depot Park, walk to the Salvation Army or are bused to the VFW Post in Live Oak.
Faith Community volunteers from over 25 congregations cook and join participants for dinner. Cooks clean up the kitchen, participants set up the mats, people begin to bed down around 8:30.
Back up around 6:30. A cold breakfast, maybe something for the pocket, and it's of to your job or back on the streets.
This year new services are being added. Vaccinations, health checks, service referrals and counseling will all be available.
Loads of Love drops by so folks can do laundry. Hopefully, a shower trailer for the VFW will be available after the first of year.
Local governments fund most of the program, and the AFC staff and volunteers give tons of time and effort in advance of opening before the government funds are available.
Got time to sit and hear someone's story or share your day over dinner, can you help setting up the showers? Stop by local thrift shops and pick up donations for our cloths bank?
Would you help organize your congregation to cook for a week?