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View Diary: Pastor Apologizes to Costco, Praises Them for Their Good Works (235 comments)

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  •  Rare to see an open church except on Sunday (2+ / 0-)
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    thomstark, commonmass

    and maybe Wednesday night'

    with this economy they should all be hosting homeless families and he fact that they aren't says it all

    "The poor can never be made to suffer enough." Jimmy Breslin

    by merrywidow on Fri Nov 22, 2013 at 06:47:38 AM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  Here in Iowa City, Shelter House is a full service (1+ / 0-)
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      organization for helping people while homeless and helping them into homes. It always happens that in winter as weather gets colder there is more demand than beds. The community churches take turns in rotation to provide the overflow space. It's a significant commitment because they meet all the health standards for housing and feeding that many people.

      Year round, Shelter House gets a significant fraction of its support from churches. I'm not saying that I personally believe that NGO approaches are the best ones, just trying to point out that in some places the churches are in fact doing what you point out they logically should be doing.

      Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? . . . and respect the dignity of every human being.

      by Wee Mama on Fri Nov 22, 2013 at 08:03:22 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Oh, they should? Let's get specific... (0+ / 0-)

      The average US church has 75 members and a $90,000 budget. 90% of US congregations have fewer than 350 members.

      How, exactly, do you expect that average church to also function as a homeless shelter?  One cannot simply change the sign out front and say, "Hey, we're a homeless shelter too!"  Keep in mind that doing this may require significant changes, ranging from zoning allowances and hiring additional security/staff to facilities expansion and capital expense (most churches don't have beds or security cameras, eh?), depending upon local requirements for certification/permits/etc.  The question of security/staff is neither insignificant nor inexpensive, given that homeless shelters are, by and large, 24x7x365 operations.  You also need to hire qualified folks to perform intake, assess clients, and the like - the aren't things that the typical church clergy/staff is legally qualified to do.  Oh, did I mention that your insurance premiums will increase dramatically as well?

      There is one comprehensive homeless program in our MSA, and its yearly expenditures on shelter/recovery programs consume just over $4 million of its $7.5 million budget.  So, are my average church's resources better spent in providing some very small subset of those services at a significantly higher cost per person, or by providing support to the more comprehensive facilities/programs elsewhere?  Which approach will deliver more/better help to more people?  The answer is fairly clear.

      Many churches are doing what they can.  For instance, my average-sized church hosts our community's food bank (accessible 5 days/week), provides support to the comprehensive center/program I mentioned above, serves weekly hot meals to the homeless/impoverished in the MSA (in rotation with other local churches), teaches ESL classes, runs back-to-school drives to provide school supplies to kids who need them, and more.

      It's really easy to say what "should be done" if you don't have to consider the various costs and requirements.

      The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

      by wesmorgan1 on Fri Nov 22, 2013 at 11:10:06 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

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