A church joined hands with community activist to provide shelter to the homeless.
Self Develop Shop reported that the St. Boniface Church in San Francisco opened its doors about 15 years ago for people in need.
Father Louis Vitale and activist Shelly Roder started the effort to help those in need of shelter.
The Gubbio Project, initiated in 2004, allowed homeless people to sleep in the church giving them a safe place to sleep for the night.
Every day hundreds of people use the pews to sleep on and get blankets from the staff too.
The Gubbio Project’s website states clearly that there are no questions asked to the guests who walk into the churches. The organizers have also made efforts to remove any barrier to entry.
One does not find any sign-in sheets or intake forms. The website claimed that no one has ever been turned away and ‘all are welcomed, respected, and treated with dignity.’
Churchgoers can also visit the facility throughout the day. However, part of the church is reserved for the unique project.
A representative of Gubbio said that the project is essentially a message to everyone around that the ‘unhoused neighbors’ are part of the community. They are not kicked out when those with homes come in to worship.
The project also sends out a strong message to those who attend mass that the community should be all-inclusive consisting of the tired, the poor, and those with mental health issues, and also those ‘who are wet, cold, and dry.’
Several people complain that homeless shelters feel like prisons, and might be dangerous as well. However, the project seems to be completely different.
A survey reported that 95 percent of the respondents felt always or mostly safe at The Gubbio Project. They also said that those who pass through are not treated like prisoners.
It is heartwarming to see such efforts amidst several reports of the bad treatment meted out to homeless people.
It was reported in 2017 that Seattle was planning to build razor-wire fencing to prevent the homeless population from camping.
San Francisco was using robots to scare homeless away from encampments. $8,700 were spent for the installation of big boulders under overpasses to deter people from setting up camps. Several homeless encampments were forced out and the people were asked to report them to police.
In February this year, several activists, including a 14-year-old, were arrested for feeding homeless people in Wells Park in El Cajon in California. Authorities stated that the law helps in the prevention of the spread of disease.
The activists claimed that the law does nothing but criminalizes the homeless.