When Jesus asked Simon, son of John, “Do you love me? And Simon answered yes, Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.” This part of scripture seems abundantly clear. Tend the sheep. Feed the sheep. We are to care for one another.
St. John’s began with the goal of providing transitional housing that would be for 3-4 months at a time. We find that a year minimum is more realistic. People who are un-housed are traumatized by that experience, living on the street leaves them exhausted, discouraged, anxious and paranoid.
Our average Sunday attendance is 32 people our average age is easily 65. Our youth group are the people in their 40s and 50s. We currently are assisting 8 people with housing. Amazing!
Benefits and Changes to Our Community
- The security of our property has vastly improved.
- We no longer believe homeless people are just folks without money and a place to sleep.
- We no longer believe that poverty is mostly the result of laziness, immorality and irresponsibility or in Episcopal speak–sin.
- Making friends–providing housing and a Food Pantry allows us to connect despite class difference – and this builds empathy.
- We have been transformed by the kindness and generosity of our residents.
- We have learned that following Jesus is not the easiest journey to take.
- We watch them practice living Gospel lives—not that they would use these words to describe their acts of kindness and solidarity with the other resident
So, our residents have helped us live a Gospel life—words we hope are accurate to describe ourselves and our community of faith.