Interfaith Shelter Network
by Laura Lee Skillman
The year 2019 is our 34th season of hosting Interfaith Shelter Network guests at St. James by-the-Sea. Our guests will arrive Saturday, December 28, to officially launch the start of the two week period here at St. James.
The collaborative program serves homeless men, women, and children in San Diego who receive shelter and other services for a two week period. Over the years, the demographical composition of shelter guests has changed. Currently, we are seeing more single mothers with children. Each guest is pre-screened and receives additional case management support as they endeavor to get their lives on more solid footing.
The guests will stay in the Parish Hall and will be here from 5:00 pm to 7:00 am the following morning, each day during their two-week stay. They will sleep, and eat breakfast and dinner here. As each guest leaves during the day for work, job hunting, going to school or Sunday worship services, we send them off with a healthy sack lunch. They will have access to showers and laundry facilities under our supervision at our neighbor church, La Jolla Presbyterian.
Continuance of the Interfaith Shelter Network tradition at St. James is achieved through the contributions of our members who generously donate their time, talent and treasure.
The volunteer recruitment for this year has begun!
Sign-ups this year are electronic, on SignUp Genius, by clicking the button below:
Sign-up sheets can also be found at coffee hour after each worship service beginning November 17.
There are a variety of volunteer opportunities, but the most critical needs are:
Background on the Interfaith Shelter Network of San Diego
The Rotational Shelter Program is a seasonal emergency shelter program that takes in men, women and families. The Network involves over 120 congregations of all denominations, county-wide. About 70 of the congregations host the program in their facilities for two weeks a year and the remainder serve in a valuable support role, providing volunteers for meals, overnight hosting, transportation and donations.
Participants are sheltered and receive the understanding and support of congregations when previously all they knew was fear and uncertainty.
Case management is the key to success for the guests. They are admitted to the program only after being screened by an area social service agency to assure there will be no active drug, alcohol or mental health problems. Additionally, the participants are willing to work closely with the referring social service agency to resolve the problems leading to their homelessness. This is a practical, manageable way to serve for both host and support congregations.
Generally, 12 guests at a time stay in the congregation facilities. At the end of two weeks, the whole operation - cots and guests - rotate to another area congregation. Guests can stay up to eight weeks in the Network. The average stay is just under six weeks until the individual/family moves toward independence.
Thank you for your support and service. We are looking forward to hosting and displaying our genuine St. James by-the-Sea hospitality in welcoming our guests.
For questions please contact
Mike Wood at firstname.lastname@example.org, or 858-270-0509
or Laura Lee Skillman at email@example.com or 925-683-1045.