Thursday, November 11, 2010

Homeless React to the Sit/Lie Law


Education is the root of everything we do at Welcome. In addition to preaching and teaching about poverty at more than 56 congregations, organizations and schools each year, Welcome also provides the following educational opportunities for our guests:

Urban Food Share: The Urban Food Share Program is 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 local hunger. Educational classes are available to help members of the community learn to create their own gardens in person or through our blog.

Somatic Trauma Care: Designed to help the homeless and other low income individuals learn the skills they need to 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.

Individual Pastoral Support and Referral: Pastor Megan provides 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. Whenever possible our one-on-one support seeks to educate guests to advocate for their own needs and to make and keep goals.

For more information on how to volunteer, please contact:


watermellonAt Welcome we believe that all people need to be fed in their mind, body, spirit and stomach. Poverty has made it difficult for some individuals to gain the access the food they need to survive. We not only provide food for those in need, but we also help our guests learn sustainable ways to secure food in the future. At Welcome there are no lines, we serve restaurant style (bringing food to seated guests) and always eat with our guests. As a result, our meals are community building experiences that help those who are often marginalized to learn social skills, feel connected to their community and to provide us with direct feedback about our programs.

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.

Saturday Community Dinners: Every 2nd and 4th Saturday a month we provide a meal to 200+ members of the community, including the homeless, marginally housed and many low income seniors. 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.

Hospitality Hour: Every Sunday morning, 90-140 individuals are served a two course meal at St. Francis Lutheran Church. A Community Thanksgiving Meal feeds an additional 200 individuals each year. This project is in partnership with St Francis Lutheran Church, Food Runners and SF CARES.

The Senior Program: Every Wednesday, activities, lunch and hospitality for seniors are provided at St. Francis Lutheran Church. This project is in partnership with St Francis Lutheran Church and SF CARES.

The Free Farm: A community farm created on the ashes where St. Paulus Lutheran Church used to be before it burned down in the early 90's.  Since its creation in 2010, more than 8,593 pounds of free food have been harvested and given away to it's neighbors and lunch is served around noon every Wednesday and Saturday.  This project is in partnership with St. Paulus Lutheran Church, SF CARES, the Free Farm Stand and Produce to the People.

For more information on how to volunteer, please contact: