Warming Shelter Needs You!
“I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me. Matt:25:40
We at First Presbyterian Church have long been associated with Freedom Warming Center. Opening our doors for comfort food, a warm, dry place to sleep and an encouraging word provides a brief respite from inclement weather and encouragement for the homeless.
This year we are asking that casseroles and desserts are provided from the congregation. You are encouraged to make a 9X13 aluminum pan of your favorite casserole or a dozen cookies, brownies or sheet cake.
We are also asking for individuals who would like to serve the food and clear tables, or to eat & talk with the guests. If you could help with any of these, please email Joan Taylor at firstname.lastname@example.org Food can be dropped off at the church kitchen on the Saturday prior to the scheduled week which always starts on a Sunday. Please include baking or reheating instructions, along with your name and phone number. Your help with this important mission is greatly appreciated.
Our first possible activation will be December 3rd, so food should be dropped off at the church kitchen any time from 10am-2pm on December 2nd.
Your help with this important mission is greatly appreciated.
Local Mission Team – Alameda Park Outreach
Romans 12:20 says “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink” God calls us to meet the needs of those in our community who are in need. As of 2006 Nonprofit Volunteers began serving meals to individuals in need every Thursday evening at Alameda Park. This ministry has grown from just a few meals to now offering showers, on site doctors, and helping to house the homeless. Our participation in this is part of what our Mission Ministry Team supports. First Presbyterian Church along with Ocean Hills Covenant Church serves this community the second Thursday of every month. First Presbyterian Church provides the hot meal and Ocean Hills provides other food and volunteer staff in serving those who come to the park. If you would like to find out more about this program and how you can help, please contact either Chuck Curtis or Cheryl Long.
We are so grateful to God for Joy’s health, though a continued challenge, as she has been bed ridden over two years, she never got COVID and on the whole has been very resilient, patient and a good patient. Grateful for Tania’s company and help, and now Marco’s also. Please pray that Joy will be able to get out of bed into a chair and be taken places.
Marcos has been teaching Biblical Greek through our mission center. He finished teaching Biblical Greek II and is starting BG III. We have a small group of interested pastors and leaders as part of the class. We are also excited that Marcos has joined our leadership team in CEMAA on a part time basis. Please pray for Marcos support and the appropriate mission organization to join in his work with us at CEMAA.
About Local Mission
First Pres is engaged broadly in local mission. She was among the few churches who organized Transition House in 1984. First Pres has served there continually since its founding. Once a month First Pres volunteers provide dinner for about 70 guests and pack next-day lunches for all. Freedom Warming Center began in 2011, and First Pres is one of four local churches opening its doors on nights when it is rainy or unusually cold. A screening agency moderates the guests without homes, and the church provides dinner, comfortable overnight accommodation, and a breakfast-to-go. She joined the ministry in Santa Barbara’s Alameda Park in 2014. At the park several churches and other non-profits serve people without homes. First Pres teams up with Oceanhills Church to serve the dinner once a month. Having a certified commercial kitchen is a blessing; it allows S.B. County to approve this food ministry. Doctors without Walls and Showers of Blessing are among the other organizations serving at Alameda Park. The “Sonshine” ministry, bringing the love of Christ to nursing home residents, has been conducted by First Pres volunteers for 20 years. One Sunday afternoon each month a First Pres elder brings God’s word and hymn singing to the Channel Islands Post-Acute rest home. First Pres is also involved in Jail Ministry; a long-time member of the congregation leads Bible study at the Santa Barbra County Jail. Several local ministries receive from First Pres financial support, if not hands-on participation. The Santa Barbara Rescue Mission is a lauded organization, and members of the congregation have served on their board. First Pres lends the use of spaces in its parking lot for overnight parking by people without homes, in a ministry supervised by Santa Barbara’s Safe Parking Program. First Pres’ financial support goes also to Young Life in Santa Barbara and to Front Porch, Santa Barbara Presbytery’s thriving college ministry at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.
Our community outreach activities:
Transition House is dedicated to the solution of family homelessness in the Santa Barbara community. Capable and motivated families with children are offered respectful, non-sectarian residential services and the life skills needed to alleviate their poverty, and to restore self-sufficiency and dignity.
In 1984, Transition House was created by volunteers from the Santa Barbara area who stepped forward to give food and shelter to their homeless neighbors. Transition House’s program is based on the understanding that the root cause of family homelessness is poverty. There may be other and varied contributing factors to homelessness, but underlying it is always poverty.
The first Monday of each month FPCSB serves at Transition House
Casa Esperanza Homeless Center
Our mission is to assist homeless individuals and families achieve self-sufficiency, by helping as many as possible access the services they need to transition to stable employment and housing.
Casa Esperanza is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Offering a wide array of services for the homeless, with an emphasis on both emotional and physical health, 12 different program partners collaborate to bring recovery to the homeless — all under one roof.
Each Friday a team from FPCSB serves at Community Kitchen.
Santa Barbara Rescue Mission
Mission Statement: The Santa Barbara Rescue Mission is a ministry of Christian people bringing physical, emotional, educational and spiritual resources to men, women and children in need, particularly those struggling with addictions.
The Santa Barbara Rescue Mission has served the city and county of Santa Barbara for 46 years, providing emergency services and long-term recovery for the homeless and addicted. With 80 beds for men and 20 for women and children, they are the only emergency shelter from Santa Maria to Ventura that is open 365 nights of the year. In 2010, they provided 159,140 meals and 61,025 safe nights of shelter for individuals with no other place to turn. The mission offers homeless guest services, 12-month residential recovery, outpatient services, family support, and men’s sober living. Components of the recovery program include counseling and group processing, covering topics such as anger- management, alcohol and drug awareness, HIV and Hepatitis awareness, self-esteem, parenting, and relapse prevention. Their Learning Center provides academic and career assessments, literacy assistance, GED preparation, computer skills training, and career development. Services are available to all men and women 18 years and older without discrimination on the basis of religion, national or ethnic origin, marital status, criminal history, sexual orientation, or socio-economic status. Over eighty percent of the clients are residents of Santa Barbara County.
Sonshine at Central Coast Nursing Center
“Sonshine Ministry” is an organized program coming from State of Washington to provide Christ-centered care for rest home residents. It was brought to our mission team by Anabel Miller (Esther Hur’s mother) in about 2002 when she recognized that the facility on Via Lucero (then known as Beverly La Cumbre) could use God’s love. Yvonne Bazinet now coordinates a monthly worship service at 2:00 pm on the second Sunday of each month.
Due to the alarming increase in vehicle dwellers in south Santa Barbara County, coupled with the crackdown on overnight parking enacted by the City of Santa Barbara, New Beginnings currently operates a program to provide safe overnight parking for individuals and families who find themselves living in their vehicles. The program is a cooperative between New Beginnings, area churches and non-profits whereby participating institutions provide parking places for vehicle dwellers registered with the New Beginnings program. The program currently includes various dispersed locations in the county. The purpose of the program is to provide a level of stability needed for vehicle dwellers to effectively make positive changes in their lives. A safe place to park, together with the social services and case management provided by New Beginnings case workers, are the tools used to achieve this end. Interested parties should contact New Beginnings at (805) 845-8492.
FPCSB hosts five vehicles each night for the Safe Parking Program.
Santa Barbara has always been known for its gorgeous weather. Here, we rarely see extreme changes in the climate, although temperatures can still drop significantly during the winter months. Most of us can simply put on extra layers of clothing or stay in the comforts of our homes to stay warm. For the homeless, it is more of a challenge to get through the cold months when they are at a higher risk of exposure and illnesses such as the flu and pneumonia.
The warming shelters are a collaboration of various groups to assist the homeless through the cold winter season. Various churches host these shelters when temperatures are predicted to drop below 40 degrees or when there is a 50 percent chance of rain from November to March. In the shelters, volunteers provide guests with their own bedding, a hot meal, and a sack lunch.
For more information about getting involved in our Local or Global Missions, please contact Chuck Curtis.