If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God.
Many of our members serve local, national and international organizations with hands-on involvement, board leadership and financial support. Rather than have an “in-house” service/mission committee, thus, we’ve chosen to support our members’ endeavors.
Community Human Services and Gathering for Women are about to open the first-ever shelter for homeless women and families with children on the Monterey Peninsula. The shelter is called Casa de Noche Buena.
This summer some of our own church members became involved in this exciting collaboration. In October they brought a proposal to our church board, asking our church to engage with Casa as volunteers, individual supporters, or even more – would our church itself become a significant financial supporter?
Our church board said, “Yes,” to all three dimensions.
Why are we committing our church to Casa? Homelessness in Monterey County has become a humanitarian crisis. The most recent Monterey County homeless census identified 2,422 homeless people in Monterey County, of which 35% were female and 25% were families. Yet, this startling number is probably an undercount by half or more, according to experts.
Casa de Noche Buena is one solution. Located in Seaside, Casa will provide guests with a warm, safe place to stay (as long as 90 days) while receiving intensive case management and supportive services, including linkages to employment and housing and mental health and substance abuse services based upon their individual needs.
The shelter will feature 10 bedrooms, a laundry room, a kitchen, a multi-purpose dining room and a lounge, and accommodate between 28 and 36 people depending upon the ages of the children.
How will Church in the Forest help?