American Baptist churches are addressing the problem of homelessness in the U.S. with creativity and with love.
Rivergate Community Church in North Portland, Oregon, is working with other churches in the area to provide transitional housing to homeless mothers and children through Community of Hope. They have acquired a house to be used for the ministry, but there are city requirements to make the house safe for multi-family housing. The Matthew 25 Grant was able to help with start-up costs, including the purchase of fire alarms and exit lighting, wardrobes to store personal belongings, and adequate shower facilities. In addition to providing housing, the Community of Hope will offer support for change that will lead to stable housing for these mothers and their children.
American Baptist Church of Fort Collins, Colorado, is also working with other churches to address the needs of homelessness through Faith Family Hospitality. Participating congregations provide space for overnight housing and food for up to four families at a time. Other congregations might partner to assist with the food and the volunteer support. Matthew 25 Grant funds were able to replace some of the mattresses and cots which travel from church to church and are heavily used. Funds were also used to assist with laundry services for the families. In the first eighteen months of operation, Faith Family Hospitality was able to serve 37 families, of which 9 were able to transition to permanent housing.
Is your church doing work in the area of homelessness? Tell us about it! We would love to help spread the word and tell other American Baptists about the work that you are doing in your local community. Email firstname.lastname@example.org and use the title “Homelessness Story.”
The Matthew 25 Grant, sponsored by ABCUSA, is funded by a generous donor whose goal is to help meet the needs of “housing, feeding, education and health with regard to the less fortunate.” Ministries must be in relationship with American Baptist Churches to be eligible to apply. Awards for the Matthew 25 grant are made twice a year, in April and October, with application deadlines of March 1 and September 1. To view the guidelines and download the application form, click here.