Two winters ago, the text message came late at night, even as buckets of rain and slamming gusts of wind blew around the darkness outside.
“I can’t stand it. I’m so worried about the homeless people caught out in this. What can we do for them?!”
In the last two weeks, similar nasty weather has arrived in West Sacramento. But this time, many of the city’s homeless have watched it from the safety of a church building, while a hot meal was laid before them at a family-style table and a warm bed for the night awaited. The two-year-old text has been answered resoundingly, and movingly, by you the community – the congregations, the volunteers, the pastors, the city and county leaders, and the Winter Warming Center staff.
Of the 25 different individuals who were served by the WWC program in its first six weeks of pilot operations, 21 reported that they would be sleeping on the streets, in a tent, or in a car if they didn’t have the Warming Centers. As the efforts continue through March 21, new efforts are underway to fill more of the 20 beds we have available, 5 nights a week.
And some other compelling numbers to consider: Three of our guests have now achieved permanent housing. Four have become regular churchgoers on Sundays. As many as nine are participating in a weekly Thursday-night Narcotics Anonymous meeting at Community Lutheran. Others have celebrated new jobs, favorable court rulings to see their children and 50th birthdays. The relational synergy each night is joyous and deep, even as volunteer teams rotate in and out through the weeks.
Thank you, West Sacramento – for answering your own prayers.