Have an inside look into the project housing homeless people in Churches in the video below.
Video credit: Ryan Vance
The Gubbio Project is a perfect example of how a small act of kindness can promote love in a community.
Started in 2004 by Shelly Roder and Father Louis Vitale in San Francisco, the organization collaborates with local churches to provide a temporary place for homeless people.
According to the project’s website, the homeless people face a severe lack of sleep which leads to many health issues in them.
Most shelters don’t admit the homeless folks at night unless they have a medical condition. Many homeless people willingly stay awake at night so that they can’t be robbed or attacked by anyone.
“Most of the people you see here are walking all night, trying to stay out of sight of the police or other people who will harass him,” an anonymous homeless guy revealed.
Aiming to address this issue, The Gubbio Project launched an incredible initiative by joining hands with San Francisco’s St. Boniface church.
“An average of 225 unhoused neighbors seek safety and rest on the pews in the sanctuary of St. Boniface church each weekday starting at 6 AM,” its website says.
“No questions are asked when our guests walk into the churches; in an effort to remove all barriers to entry, there are no sign-in sheets or intake forms.”
The church is split into three parts for the program.
The daily mass is conducted in the front section at 12:15 PM while the other two sections located in the back are given to the homeless residents.
This layout has been selected for a reason.
According to the website, allowing the homeless to remain during daily mass “sends a powerful message to our unhoused neighbors.”
“They are in essence part of the community, not to be kicked out when those with homes come in to worship,” the website adds.
“It also sends a message to those attending mass— the community includes the tired, the poor, those with mental health issues, and those who are wet, cold and dirty.”
After The Gubbio Project got media coverage, several churches have followed its lead.
The St. Andrew’s church in Niagara Falls, Canada, has started a two-year pilot project with funding made by the regional government.
According to the St. Catharines Standard, the project hopes to “establish a new drop-in space where they [homeless citizens] can hang out, get warm or cool down in the summer, and access services they may need.”
A similar project, called Family Promise, is also active in New Jersey.
Family Promise works with local congregations to house up to five homeless families at a time, which are rotated among the collaborating churches each week.
The Beth Emmanuel Church in London, Ontario, Canada, followed suit and opened itself to the homeless during the winter season. A large room was turned into a ‘warming center’ by the volunteers.
The response was overwhelming and 40 people showed up on the very first night, Church pastor Dan Morand told CBC News.
“That may not seem a lot to some people but that’s a lot of people outside. That’s not acceptable,” Morand added.
“Homeless Man Shivering On Subway, Then One Stranger Comes Over And Gives Him His Clothes”