HOMELESS ADVOCACY MINISTRY AT SAINT MARK'S
ABOUT THE MINISTRY
The community of Saint Mark's has been involved in the work of serving the unhoused and ending homelessness since its earliest days
Homelessness in the greater Seattle/King County area has gone well beyond the crisis point--every Seattle resident sees evidence of this every day. We as a faith community must respond to the present situation as we are able, and in ways that we feel will best promote the dignity and freedom of those of our neighbors who, for whatever reason, cannot access safe, permanent housing.
The Justice Ministry Coordinating Team (JMCT), in consultation with the community of Saint Mark's, has decided to focus our efforts to confront the crisis in three areas:
1. Direct feeding and housing ministries. These include Noel House (which houses forty women in Bloedel Hall five nights a week), Saint Brigid's Banquet, Community Lunch at Central Lutheran, and other opportunities.
3. Education and advocacy. Homelessness as a societal issue and as a personal lived experience are widely misunderstood and the subject or persistent myths and prejudices. The Homeless Advocacy Ministry at Saint Mark's seeks to counter this ignorance with a truer picture of the homelessness—the various ways individuals and families fall into homelessness, why they stay homeless, and how they get out of it—through forums, formation events, and other communications.
Tent City 3 Returns to Saint Mark's
The community will be located in the cathedral's lower parking lot from July 7 to September 10, 2020
In a recent message to the parish, Dean Thomason has announced that Tent City 3 will be returning to the Saint Mark's Cathedral Campus this week, and remaining here as our guests and neighbors until mid-September. We hosted Tent City every summer for 12 years in a row, 2001–2013, and, while we decry and lament the continuing crisis of homelessness in our city, we are delighted to be able to welcome them back in these extraordinary times. Reactions to the announcement have been extremely positive on the part of those who remember their previous visits. The cathedral is blessed by their presence in many ways.
The encampment is somewhat smaller now than in previous years—while the city allows up to 100 people, Tent City 3 currently houses about 40. The Cathedral is proving water and electricity, although no one from Tent City is currently allowed to enter the cathedral building. Living in a tent is not the secure, permanent housing that everyone deserves. However, for some of those for whom such housing is inaccessible, a Tent City can be a better situation that more traditional homeless shelters, because it allows mixed-gender couples to live together, and the residents are not bound to restrictive curfews, which removes a significant barrier to employment. (Most residents of Tent City are employed full-time.)
Learn more about Tent City 3, including their requests for donations and information about providing meals for the community, here: http://www.sharewheel.org/tent-city-f-a-q-s. Direct any questions to Canon Chapman, firstname.lastname@example.org.