Mission: The Church and Mary's Place provide day shelter and a community for supporting women through the multiple difficulties of homelessness, including poverty, stress, domestic violence, abuse, mental and physical illness, addiction and destructive habits. We offer healing opportunities for mind, body, and spirit, and as a community we gather our strength and hope from each other and recover our dignity as women created in the image of God, who loves each one of us.We are a Christian community, but we offer a warm welcome to all women, regardless of faith, creed, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or class.
I've been bringing lunch with the ladies from my church for 12 years. This is always a high point for me: we're greeted by staff and church members with offers of help to find the kitchen and the equipment we need. Usually we'll put food in the oven to warm and then join the church members for the worship service. What an unforgettable service it always is: interactive sermons on a theme, with women sharing about abuse, struggling with chemical dependency, their joy in having found this community in which to share the love of God. The hymn singing (often old gospel tunes dear to me) lifts my heart. Lunch is quite a scene with additional guests coming in from on the street. With God's grace we always have enough food despite the fact that we may serve 30-85 women and children. Always there are thanks and signs of gratitude from the guests.