Homeless Folks in Our Cloister

Sat, Jan 12, 2019

FCCB has a long history of taking care of the unhoused homeless. In fact, FCCB hosted a winter storm shelter in the Large Assembly for years until the fire.

Currently, unhoused folks sleep in the cloister 7 nights per week. (In Berkeley, for every 10 people sleeping on the street, there is only 1 shelter bed.) Amare wakes them up in the morning about 6:30 am because the East Bay School for Boys opens at 7 am. He and Bruce then clean up whatever they leave behind.

There are many things wrong with this picture, not the least of which is leaving the problem to our custodial staff to take care of and keep out of our sight. And, as most of us know, supporting the unhoused homeless is complicated and doesn't have easy solutions. However, we CAN do something to support the folks sleeping in our cloister, while also taking care of our church.

A group of volunteers from FCCB is taking on the task of waking our unhoused neighbors and cleaning the cloister. Each volunteer has a weekly, monthly or bi-monthly shift from 6:30-7 am. We interact directly with the folks who are waking up in the cloister. Our intention is to offer them “Companionship” in the way that we learned from Craig Rennebohm in the all day workshop that he gave at FCCB in January 2018. We utilize the Companionship practices of hospitality; neighboring, sharing the journey side-by-side, listening, and accompaniment. (For anyone interested in learning more about Companionship or wanting a refresher, Robin Kempster will be teaching a Companionship workshop on Sunday, January 27, from 11:45 am to 1 pm.)

If you can volunteer or have questions, please contact Kerrie Hein