Despite the pandemic, we’re still planning to host 20-25 homeless men in Spring Hall for October.

David Bowling, CFH Director says, “Homelessness brings about relational poverty—a disconnect from society and those around you. At Congregations for the Homeless (CFH), we strive to provide for relationships, compassion, empowerment, respect and community to the men we serve.”

Since COVID-19 has spread throughout the nation and here on the Eastside, we’re still counted on to provide stable housing opportunities for these needy single men. Their plans for rebuilding their lives and working again have been decimated by social distancing and fear of contagion. We’ll be the October Rotating Shelter we’ve been annually for over 15 years, but this year there’ll be restrictions in place. Our church partners will again be Northlake UC, Woodinville UC, and Bellevue Presbyterian. We hope to share production of half the meals with yet another Eastside congregation. We will need ESUC volunteers to help with creating hot dinners; shopping for food, toiletries and other sundries; and making sandwiches for brown-bag lunches. We’ll be able to utilize our North Room kitchen, and cooperative teams will commit to provide cooked entrees, side dishes, salads and desserts.

Our Current Plan

  • We should plan on the number of men being in the low to mid 20.
  • CFH does not have a volunteer dentist and so there is no dental van.
  • The rotating shelter is operating on a 24/7 basis. 24/7 shelter operation does not mean the men would be wandering the campus. They could be constrained to stay in the Education Building when on the campus. (Some may leave for work.)

Shelter Operation

  • There is always a CFH employee at the shelter.
  • Only CFH employees and men assigned to the shelter are allowed in the shelter.
  • Men can’t just come to the shelter, they must be assigned to it by CFH. All of the men have a rehabilitation plan and must be making progress to come to the shelter.
  • The men clean the shelter several times a day. CFH will pay for professional cleaning when the shelter moves on.
  • CFH understands what an imposition that the shelter is and will do what we want to keep the rotating shelter in operation.
  • Dinners and supplies have contactless delivery. Typically, the delivery would be in the trunk of a car. The trunk would open and someone from the shelter would remove the supplies.

Watch this space for more details weekly leading up to our homeless guests arrival October 1st. There will be opportunities to provide meals as well as donations which can be used to purchase meals from local minority-owned restaurants.

Thanks for considering stepping forward to help in this ministry, reflecting our Unitarian principle that “Service is our Prayer.”

by Den Kerlee