A-OK Fridays fights for the homeless | New

FRANCONIA – When the temperature drops below 26, a Code Blue is declared and the Advocates for the Homeless of Upper Bucks open the Code Blue Refuge in the Masonic Lodge in Quakertown.

“They provide a warm place to stay and a hot meal,” said Erika Wesch, pastor of Little Zion Lutheran Church. “Anyone can get through the night and be able to get through these very, very cold nights.

It was just one of the groups working to help the homeless. On August 6, the second A-OK Friday Act of Kindness, in which information and service projects are carried out by a collaboration of five local churches, was held.

On the theme of baseball, the evening, hosted by Little Zion in Franconia, was called “Going to Bat for the Homeless”.

Other organizations featured were Keystone Opportunity Center, Habitat for Humanity, and Lutheran World Relief, as well as two organizations that help homeless animals – Bucks County SPCA and Last Chance Ranch.

A presentation was also made by Lutheran Church Pastor Christophe Serena Sellers on the Sanctuary Village for the Homeless Project.

Salespeople started by asking what people are doing in different rooms in their house and then what they would do if they didn’t have a house.

“It’s really hard if you don’t have a house or an apartment to live in,” she said.

“There are people who don’t have houses or apartments around here. You don’t see them much because most of them live in cars or maybe they try to stay with people. friends as long as friends will let them stay, “she said.

It is more common to see homeless people on the streets of Philadelphia, she said.

The Sanctuary Village will consist of a dozen small houses and a common building, according to information provided at the meeting. It will be built on land provided by the City of Philadelphia, which is also providing a grant to be used to provide services to the homeless people who will live there, Sellers said. It will be on the Riverview Care Home campus near the Delaware River in the Holmesburg section of Philadelphia, she said.

“We will be able to take everyone who walks into Sanctuary Village and give them what they need to get back on their feet,” Sellers said. “Sanctuary Village is not a place where people will live forever, but it is a place where they can live and get everything they need until they are ready to move into their own place.

Most homelessness programs take care of one person at a time and these people are usually not able to bring the people they depended on when they were homeless, she said. declared.

“What we’re going to do is bring groups of people who are already friends to be neighbors to each other in Sanctuary Village so that they can help and encourage each other so that they can hang out together. ‘roaming,’ Sellers said.

“The community is modeled after similar villages in Seattle, Washington and other cities which have had tremendous success in getting people back into permanent housing. We are planning stays of three to eighteen months,” the news said. provided during the meeting.

About $ 120,000 has been raised so far for the $ 500,000 that will be needed to build Sanctuary Village, Sellers said. Donations can be made through PayPal at the website www.tinyhousecommunity.org or by making checks payable to “Sanctuary Village” and sending the check to 816 Columbia Avenue, Lansdale PA 19440.

In addition to Little Zion, Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Souderton, Grace United Methodist Church in Telford, St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Telford, and Christ Zwingli United Church in Souderton participate in A-OK Fridays during of August.

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