Mission: WELCOME seeks to provide a faithful response to poverty and to improve the quality of life for individuals in our community by providing: hospitality; education; food; and referrals for housing, health care and drug and alcohol treatment.
WELCOME is comprised of twelve churches / faith-based organizations: Old First Presbyterian Church; Temenos Catholic Worker; First Congregational Church, First Church of Christ, Scientist; First Unitarian Universalist Church; the Faithful Fools street ministry; Her Church (Ebenezer Lutheran); St. Francis Lutheran; Christ Church Lutheran; Sts. Mary and Martha Lutheran; First United Lutheran; and St. Luke’s Episcopal Church. Together, members of WELCOME have developed a multi-faceted response to poverty in our neighborhood, based on the following principles:
- All people, regardless of their economic condition or residential status, are children of God and equally deserving of respect, friendship, compassion and care;
- God commands us to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. Our neighbors include residents, merchants, other religious communities and homeless people in our neighborhood;
- We are called to seek harmony among all neighbors as well as dignity for all;
- It is our Christian responsibility to help the poor and those most in need, which include our homeless neighbors;
- It is our Christian responsibility to open the doors of our church to all God’s people and enthusiastically embrace all seekers, regardless of socioeconomic status.
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Urban Food Share: The Urban Food Share Program will work to create a community space to learn about nutrition and the slow food movement. This will include individual guidance for people to discover their own particular dietary needs and create a model for sharing food that uses a choice and empowerment model to explore ways to enable individuals with little or no access to a kitchen, refrigerator or microwave to eat healthier. We also hope to create a community gardening space so that our guests can have a closer connection to the foods they are eating.
Community Gardening Project: The Urban Share Community Gardening Project takes advantage of
underutilized city spaces by transforming them into community spaces;
the results providing a tangible resource and tools for residents to
learn about environmental protection, creative reuse and to address
Somatic Trauma Care: Designed to help the homeless and other low income individuals heal from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). In addition to the family and life trauma's that afflict many people living in poverty, there are also 2,100 homeless veterans, according to the San Francisco Chronicle who are in need of this care. Learn more about how trauma care helps those living in poverty improve their quality of life.
The Welcome Center: Every Tuesday from 2-4 pm WELCOME
offers a light lunch to guests in a safe communal setting, where guests and volunteers eat together. Here members of the community are able to fill their hunger and gain access to the other support services that WELCOME has to offer. Many of the guests at this meal have been homeless for more than 20 years, so slowly helping people become comfortable with socialization is a big part of what we do. Welcome Center guests make appointments with Jay and Megan to get more individual support throughout the week.
Health Skill Share: Every Thursday from 2-3 pm this
class uses the empowerment model to teach guests about health topics of their choosing. Guest experts and Jay facilitate conversations that allow guests to be teachers as well as students. This class models how to problem solve and find resources in order to get basic needs met. Guests fill out surveys after each class and receive follow up individual care to create and set goals, and improve their quality of life.
Saturday Community Dinners: Every 2nd and 4th Saturday a month we
provide a meal to 150-200 members of the community. Different congregations, students or group provide the food and volunteer each dinner and eat with guests. On special occasions we also hand out clothing, socks, help people send cards to family members and hand out blankets. How to host a community dinner.
Individual Pastoral Support and Referral: Pastors Megan and Jay provide support to our guests and chaplains. Types of support include assisting guests to access obtain their identification, emergency housing or entry into drug detoxification and treatment services; accompanying guests to medical or legal appointments; and visiting guests in hospitals, jails and treatment programs. The Center has become a sacred place for guests and chaplains alike.