Homeless people have felt the goodness of people after a church opened the doors for sleepovers 15 years ago. Namely, the St. Boniface church, located in San Francisco, started its mission more than a decade ago. This social miracle was initiated by Father Louis Vitale and Shelly Roder, a provider for the community.
The project kicked off back in 2004 and goes by the name of The Gubbio Project.
The church has accepted over thousands of people, who are either in need, in search for a shelter and basically struggling. Their residence in the church includes a pew for sleeping and receiving warm blankets by the church itself.
“No questions are asked when our guests walk into the churches; in an effort to remove all barriers to entry, there are no sign-in sheets or intake forms. No one is ever turned away; all are welcomed, respected and treated with dignity,” reads on the website.
Even despite their heroic act of giving, the church still maintains to have their doors open for regular church guests, too. Still, the majority of the church, or 2/3, are dedicated to helping the homeless.
“This sends a powerful message to our unhoused neighbors – they are in essence part of the community, not to be kicked out when those with homes come in to worship. It also sends a message to those attending mass – the community includes the tired, the poor, those with mental health issues and those who are wet, cold and dirty,” stated a rep for the project.
Homeless people often refuse to visit regular shelters, as they seem too strict or dangerous even. However, the church project seemed an instant success, with around 95% of the people there saying the church is a very safe place to be.
All homeless people have long faced issues with using camping areas freely. This was a problem not just in San Francisco, but in Seattle and other cities as well.
The police made many arrests in terms of the homeless protecting the current situation. Among the arrested was also a minor, and the situation is slowly getting out of hand. Activists who work with the homeless urge that the police tends to make the homeless into criminals.
“It means they are criminalizing homelessness. They’ve created 4 laws against the homeless. No camping, no sleeping in cars, no panhandling and no feeding the homeless,” Mark Lane reported.