Hunger and Homelessness Sunday is November 18, 2018!

Many Presbyterian congregations run homelessness ministries or provide volunteers and funding for nearby shelters. Spurred by the biblical call to house the homeless and the church’s strong social witness policy on the issue, PC(USA) has worked to address homelessness through support for shelters, transitional housing, social service programs and the provision of/advocacy around affordable housing.

The Presbyterian Network to End Homelessness (PNTEH) is a national organization of Presbyterians focusing on how they can alleviate homelessness. 

The PC(USA) joins with people and groups across the U.S. in Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week and designates the Sunday before Thanksgiving as Hunger and Homelessness Sunday.  During this season of gratitude, we challenge you to raise up the crisis of homelessness during worship on Sunday, November 18, 2018.  A new bulletin insert from PNTEH and a children’s sermon and prayer are available (more resources below.) 

Bulletin insert from PNTEH

Let us build awareness and take action.  Learn about homelessness in your area and advocate for fairer wages so people can afford decent housing.  And let us pray that the Christ who once was homeless will motivate us to action in ways that share God’s love and belonging with those in need in our communities.

Homelessness Partners and Grantees of the Presbyterian Hunger Program

Woman choosing fresh vegetables

Photo of the Community of the Beloved, by Andrew Kang Bartlett, PHP

The National Coalition for the Homeless is a national network of people who are currently experiencing or who have experienced homelessness, activists and advocates, community-based and faith-based service providers, and others committed to a single mission: To prevent and end homelessness while ensuring the immediate needs of those experiencing homelessness are met and their civil rights protected.

Beloved Asheville – Our mission is to be a center that creates community focused on loving God, our neighbors, and ourselves.  We believe that love acts.  So for us love is a gathering space where people grow and heal while discovering and sharing their gifts and where people help and empower each other in a safe environment.

Generating Hope-Noah’s Ark Homeless Shelter  – Noah’s Ark is the only emergency overnight shelter and multi-service drop-in center for chronic homeless and individuals/families at risk on the Yakama Indian Reservation and in Yakima’s lower valley. The shelter provides culturally appropriate and locally grown food to residents. This also strengthens the local food economy and draws upon the cultural resources of the area to become a blessing of God’s creation for all.

DuPage United is a Congregation-Based Community Organizing (CBCO) that addresses the gaps and obstacles to help those who are under- and unemployed to fill existing good paying jobs, which will allow those who are homeless/near homeless to afford more permanent housing.

Washington Interfaith Network is a Congregation-Based Community Organizing (CBCO) whose work has resulted in the rehabbing and protection of over 500 affordable apartments from being torn down or converted to condos, and over 2000 other affordable rentals have been constructed. WIN also helped win the fight for DC’s Housing Production Trust Fund with $452 million allocated over the past two decades for affordable housing.

Congregational Based Community Organizing

Congregational Based Community Organizing (CBCO) is another component of PHP’s work that works to address homelessness, primarily through organizing efforts for affordable housing.

CBCO is a strategy for rebuilding communities, revitalizing congregations, and developing individuals into effective leaders and change agents.  There are more than 180 congregational-based community organizations across the country, and through a percentage of OGHS funds, PHP has provided funding for most of them, either in the start up phase or in their on-going efforts with affordable housing and homelessness. These organizations provide a vehicle for churches, schools, unions, and non-profit organizations to carry their concerns and values into public life, as they create policy and hold those in power accountable for their decisions.

Homelessness Resources and Links

Bulletin Insert—Presbyterian Network to End Homelessness

Bulletin Insert—What would the advertisement for your home look like?

Children’s Sermon and Prayer

Hunger and Homelessness—many are homeless and millions hungry, but there are some things you can do to help. Post this on the bulletin board or share with your missions committee.

Alternative Thanksgiving Ideas

National Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Week

From Homelessness to Hope: Constructing Just, Sustainable Communities for All God’s People
This report reaffirms the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)’s historical witness that universal access to safe, descent, accessible, affordable, and permanent housing is a measure and a sign of the coming Reign of God. Approved by the 2008 General Assembly, the report urges Presbyterians to work in partnership with governmental and private sectors to change or reform housing practices that contribute to persons being homeless or at risk.

Stories on Homelessness

Preteen tackles homelessness concerns in her community

Homelessness, the Fault in ‘American Greatness’, by the Oakland Institute

Congregation, Partners Seek to Meet Multifaceted Needs of the Homeless—from the Mission Yearbook June 28, 2016

Survey finds one-fifth of PC(USA) churches in 2011 involved in homeless ministries

Georgia church makes big investment to help homeless families: PC(USA) congregation puts hearts and hands into “Promise House”

Presbyterian artist illustrates the plight of the homeless on canvas: Artist and PHP Advisory Committee member, Lucy Janjigian, brings her work to the Office of Public Witness

“Homeless Jesus” provokes debate on what it means to be Christian

Presbyterian Church Reaches LGBTQ Youth in Chicago