“St. Paul’s is a serving church.” This is a statement someone said to me early on in our time here, and I have seen it confirmed over and over again as we have responded to various needs in our community. Right now we are truly in uncharted territory, and many people and families in our communities find themselves, maybe for the first time, in places of insecurity, be it financial, emotional, or even nutritional. In an effort to make an impact in the most immediate and tangible way we can, the Outreach Commission has selected five local organizations that are focused on addressing these needs, and this week recommended to the Vestry that we send out a total of $10,000 in financial gifts to those organizations. Knowing how high the stakes are right now for individuals in need and how desperate these organizations are for support, the Vestry quickly approved the financial gifts and they were sent out on Wednesday. Those organizations include the Trinity Walk-in Ministry, the South Hills Food Pantry, Casa San Jose, Hello Neighbor, and Family Promise; a brief summary of each of their services is below. There will likely be a round two of financial gifts in the coming months as well. This is no small feat! It is only possible because of the extreme generosity of our parish and the support of the Vestry to prioritize service and outreach to those in need. Thank you, as always, to all of you who have donated your time, your talent and your treasure to the work that God is calling us to as a parish in caring for those around us. Together, we are sharing God’s heart, standing up for the least of these, and offering hope in a time that so desperately needs it. Look for more updates from me in the coming weeks on continued Outreach efforts!
Trinity Walk-in Ministry (https://downtownpittsburghministerium.org/walk-in-ministry/) is run by the Downtown Pittsburgh Ministerium partner churches (Trinity Cathedral being one of those), and serves a variety of needs for anyone who "walks in" seeking services. The needs presented are many: emergency food, prescription medication, shelter, transportation to medical appointments or employment, aid in applying for all manner of governmentally supported social programs, eye glasses, etc.
South Hills Food Pantry (http://www.spchurch.org/pages/?SouthHillsFoodPantry) provides food to people in the South Hills requiring the services of a food pantry but who have limited mobility or are without transportation; they deliver right to the door and serve a wide geographic region.
Casa San Jose (https://casasanjose.org/) supports and advocates for Latino communities on issues related to local integration and self-sufficiency. Right now they are also providing bags of food staples to community members in need.
Hello Neighbor (https://www.helloneighbor.io/) is committed to supporting Pittsburgh's newest neighbors, recently resettled refugee families.Recently they created the Refugee Assistance Fund in response to COVID-19, where 100% of donations go directly to recently resettled refugees to help meet immediate needs, such as paying bills, rent, and providing food and educational resources for their families.
Family Promise (https://familypromiseswpa.org/) connects homeless children and their families with a network of local congregations and the community, all focused on providing them with shelter, meals, hospitality, and support until they are able to return to sustainable independent lives in their own homes. During the COVID-19 outbreak, they are currently housing families in hotels and AirBNBs.