For you have been a refuge to the poor, a refuge to the needy in their distress, a shelter from the rainstorm and a shade from the heat. Isaiah 25:4
For over 25 years Christ & Saint Stephen's and our neighboring church, Rutgers Presbyterian Church on West 73rd Street, have been partners in providing a weekend shelter for homeless men. The shelter operates from the middle of September through Memorial Day and is housed at Rutgers. Each Saturday night it is staffed entirely by Christ & Saint Stephen's volunteers. The homeless men who sleep at the Shelter come to us from The Open Door, a drop-in center for homeless men run by Urban Pathways, a social service organization that addresses the problems of the homeless.
Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday afternoon, ten homeless men board a yellow school bus bound for Rutgers Presbyterian Church. The men are screened by The Open Door before being permitted to board the bus, so that they, and the volunteers who staff the shelter program, can be assured of a safe night.
Every Saturday evening during Autumn, Winter and Spring, five volunteers fulfill the three roles required to support the program. One volunteer provides a full dinner -- salad, entrée, dessert -- for the ten men plus the evening's four other volunteers, and delivers it to Rutgers. Two volunteers do "set-up." That is, they purchase the perishables required for dinner and breakfast (milk, etc.), set up the sleeping accommodations, and serve dinner. The two remaining volunteers provide the most critical form of service required to sustain this program: they spend the night at Rutgers. All these volunteers, especially those who sleep over, make this program possible.
Contact Larry Hui(ldhui [at] earthlink [dot] net) to learn more or to volunteer.