More than 7,000 homeless people wander the streets of San Francisco. The northern California city draws visitors to attractions such as the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary. Yet, life in the city is much less entertaining for the people who have been forced out of their homes due to skyrocketing housing prices. That’s where The Gubbio Project steps in.
An Area Of Acceptance
The Gubbio Project is a nonprofit organization which provides sanctuary and shelter to an average of 225 homeless people in San Francisco each day. Both the St. Boniface and St. John’s the Evangelist churches open their doors, allowing the homeless to sleep safely and quietly on their pews for several hours each day.
“Lack of sleep is one of the most critical health issues for the homeless,” The Gubbio Project website states. “No questions are asked when our guests walk into the churches; in an effort to remove all barriers to entry, there are no sign-in sheets or intake forms. No one is ever turned away; all are welcomed, respected and treated with dignity.”
A Community For All
The front third of the church is used to celebrate daily mass at 12:15 p.m. The other two-thirds of the building is used to let individuals without a place to go lay their heads in a safe place.
“This sends a powerful message to our unhoused neighbors— they are in essence part of the community, not to be kicked out when those with homes come in to worship,” the nonprofit’s website continues. “It also sends a message to those attending mass— the community includes the tired, the poor, those with mental health issues and those who are wet, cold and dirty.”
Match Made In Heaven
Along with providing the homeless with a place to sleep, The Gubbio Project provides blankets, socks, hygiene kits, chaplaincy services, foot care, and massage services to those in need. In addition, each Friday morning volunteers prepare breakfast for the church’s visitors.
“The Gubbio Project has been a tremendous gift to my parish and we are very honored to be partnering up with them,” said Father Richard Smith, the vicar at St. John’s said. “It’s come at a very critical time in San Francisco and I’m glad we have had the privilege to help the community in this small way.”
Check out the video below to learn more about how The Gubbio Project provides for those in need.
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