Every day, good deeds go unreported. There are people out there who have been silently making a difference, just spreading good in the most basic way possible, helping people get what they need and reach the place they need to be in life.
Now it’s finally being reported, but almost 15 years ago, the St. Boniface church in San Francisco, California began to help the homeless get shelter, opening their doors to the people in their community who needed help.
The church’s Father Louis Vitale and Shelly Roder, a community activist, founded the Gubbio Project in 2004, which has been successfully helping hundreds of people on a daily basis. Hundreds pass through the church daily, sleeping on the pews, being gifted with blankets from the staff.
The Gubbio Project’s website proudly states that: “No questions are asked when our guests walk into the churches; in an effort to remove all barriers to entry, there are no sign-in sheets or intake forms. No one is ever turned away; all are welcomed, respected and treated with dignity.”
Respected, and treated with dignity: those strong moral principles are something that need to remain in society, in the view of many people.
Regular people attending the church come and go, and based on how it is, those churchgoers are most likely giving people who appreciate what the church is doing. The Gubbio project takes up about 2/3 of the Church’ space, and a Gubbio representative explained that the reasoning behind this is, it “sends a powerful message to our unhoused neighbors.”
Sending a message to the people that need help, that are really willing to do what it takes to survive in life, that we’re all in this together: that’s something that is beautiful beyond words.
The representative continued to explain that it helps people to make them feel like part of the community, to not kick them out when people who actually do have homes come in the church to worship.
They explained that it also sends a message to the people just attending church, that their community is inclusive of “the tired, the poor, those with mental health issues and those who are wet, cold and dirty.”
It’s often said that homeless shelters feel a lot like prisons, and they can even be dangerous, with in some areas, an enormous number of the people who are homeless also suffering from drug addiction.
The Gubbio project is sure to not feel like prison, and 95% of those surveyed who went to stay there said they always or usually feel safe behind its doors.
It was reported last year that the city of Seattle, Washington was going to set up razor-wire fences to try and stop the homeless from camping, finding a place to sleep in the city where cover from rain is so difficult to find, yet so many homeless people can be found.
San Francisco, another city with a large homeless population of course, was literally using robots to scare people away from the places they sleep, with the robots even snitching on them to police. The City of San Francisco spent $8,700 installing giant boulders to try and prevent people from finding a place to sleep.
You’ve got spikes on benches, giant boulders, what are they going to do next, drop pianos on homeless people’s heads out of high-rise buildings?
Even worse, people are being arrested for feeding the homeless. Somewhere around a dozen activists were recently arrested for doing nothing but feed the homeless in Wells Park, El Cajon, California: including a 14 year old.
The thing a lot of people don’t understand is, it’s the lack of opportunity, the lacking sense that they are going to accomplish something or experience some real fulfillment in life, that leads people to a spot in life where they may have no home, or no money, or no will to stay sober from substances that will eventually take their lives.
A lot of positive things happened in this 2010’s decade, to create opportunities for people where none existed before, with things like the Internet. Still, people suffer in life, and when people spiral out of control with hard drugs or simply don’t have enough left and have nowhere to go, people become homeless.
Plenty of people, especially young people, have to be homeless when they’ve done nothing self-destructive or anything in life, and why would people want to hate those who have accidentally made some bad decisions?
Being homeless is what happens when you fail to appease the system, and you’ve run out of pieces of paper they call money. The fate of the homeless is the threat constantly looming over the head of everyone who has to make money.
What happens to the homeless, is what happens to those who refuse to play in the system and make money. We all have to make money, with that threat of sleeping on a spiky bench or under a bridge looming over us.