Those wishing to involve themselves and their places of worship in the growing issue of homelessness one neighborhood at a time are invited to “Sacred Streets—A Congregational Tool to Address Homelessness” May 9, 2019.
The training will be from 9:00-11:00 a.m. in BC Lounge on the main Fresno Pacific University campus, 1717 S. Chestnut Ave., Fresno. Admission is free, register at sacred-street.eventbrite.com. For more information, call 559-453-2367.
“Sacred Streets” is hosted by the FPU Center for Community Transformation and organized with the Mayor’s Faith-Based Partnership Cabinet, a cooperative effort between Fresno Mayor Lee Brand and a group of local faith leaders. Agencies included in developing the training include Fresno Madera Continuum of Care, Poverello House, Fresno Rescue Mission, Every Neighborhood Partnership, CCT, WestCare, Fresno Housing Authority and Fresno County Behavioral Health Services.
Participants will learn proven ways to take a “we” approach to people experiencing homelessness around their places of worship and will have access to a local network for knowledge, resources and people. Strategies may include:
- Assessing the resources of individual faith institutions—a spare closet to turn into a pantry, a truck to haul belongings, a small fund to help with temporary housing, an empty house or building, people with relevant talents, etc.
- Devising a plan in consultation with other agencies to discover what a congregation can appropriately do—local outreach, coordinate with the Mayor’s Faith-Based Partnership Cabinet, etc.
- Creating a repair team to deal with vandalism or clean-up.
- Establishing a process to handle food emergencies.
- Applying ways to collect data to understand the needs of homeless people and link them to services.
- Helping the whole church understand and participate, as well as deal with the inevitable issues and encounters that arise for members or other employees not on the team.