United Methodist churches have found new ways to assist during the COVID-19 epidemic. They can help people get churches that help with rent assistance government COVID-19 relief checks or turn a church parking lot into an overnight campground. People who are homeless or in poverty.
The Centenary Community Ministries of Macon, Georgia, has held sessions twice per week since April 15 to assist people applying for the $1,200 government relief package. The Rev. said, “It’s sad that those who most need the stimulus check most are the ones who must go through the most hoops in order to get it.” Eric Mayle is the executive director of Centennial UMC’s nonprofit agency. He is also an associate minister at Centennial UMC.
In Macon, Georgia, Centenary Community Ministries, Inc. assists the poor and homeless with complex tax forms and applications that are required to apply for a stimulus grant from the United States government. More than 50 people have been helped by volunteers, which could result in $62,400 for those who are most in need. Photo courtesy the IMU Centenaria Facebook Page.
Macon, Georgia, Centenary Community for the homeless are helped by churches
More than 50 people have been helped by volunteers who sat behind folding tables to fill out complex tax forms and applications. The $62,400 will go to people in desperate need if all the checks are received.
To give you an idea of the importance of this, $1,200 will keep people afloat, even if they are barely getting by. It also covers the first month’s rent, deposit, and the first month of an apartment. Mayle stated that he is happy to share the lessons he has learned with anyone looking for help in starting a similar project. She said that churches should act now, since it is not clear when the program will end.
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Volunteers from Centenary Community Ministries, Inc. organise and sort tax forms. They also help homeless and poor people apply for federal stimulus checks. Photo courtesy of Centenary Community Ministries Facebook Page.
Many shelters for the homeless have been force to close due to the pandemic. However, a church in Oregon was able to help people find housing in its lot. Around 80 campers stayed overnight at Harmony UMC’s parking lot in Coos Bay. They start their mornings with coffee made by church members, who also give out donated breakfast food.
Churches that contribute to the rent
The Rev. Don Ford stated that it all began with a homeless man with no place to go. The pastor allowed the man to sleep in his car on the lot in February 2019.
The need for hand-washing stations grew as the pandemic grew. He said that portable toilets and hand-washing stations had been installed after COVID-19 restrictions were implemented in March. People were no longer permitte to use church bathrooms.
Shelters and tents have been set up in Coos Bay outside Harmony IMU. This is part of the homeless camp that started in February 2019. It was start by a homeless man who had nowhere else to go. The day starts with coffee made by church members, who also give out food donations for breakfast to the 80 campers. Photo by the Rev. Don Ford.
On different days, members of the Churches That Help With Rent Assistance, a social agency and a group are able to bring lunch. Many church members will be available to help with cleanup and other tasks. They encourage social distancing and handwashing to the maximum extent possible. If needed, the Oregon-Idaho Annual Conference offers its disaster response trailer. Ford stated that the church is continuing to help those in need and love their neighbour, and added, “I believe in living one’s faith, and this camp in particular is living our faith.”
United Methodist congregations in San Francisco donated $100,000 Saturday to shelter homeless people in their city’s empty hotel rooms. The initial $100,000 was raised by the nine United Methodist churches of San Francisco: Bethany, Geneva Avenue and Grace, Jones Memorial; Park Presidio, Pine; San Francisco Chinese; San Francisco Korean and Temple.
The Revd : Churches That Help With Rent Assistance
The Revd. He said, “Especially during Holy Week we offer this gift to show our faithful Christian response of Jesus’ invitation to carefor the most vulnerable.” Other faith communities, corporations, and city governments are encourage to join us in this effort for city dwellers to provide shelter during this crisis.
A local technology company donated $5,000, while three Tongan United Methodist churches (Laurel Shoreview, St. Bruno’s and St. Bruno’s), have given $2,500 since the initial donation.
California-Pacific Annual Conference just announced it will partner with Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority in order to distribute 5,000 welcome packs over the next few month.
The North, East, West and West Districts Churches That Help With Rent Assistance will organise their congregations and look at their food pantries for donations. Notes of support, toiletries and a sturdy bag like a drawstring backpack or tote bag will be include in the kits. Also, there will be journals, snacks, socks, and other items.
Cass Community Social Services is a popular place to find help in Detroit.
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