Religious Coalition: Beyond Shelter
“For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in. I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.” –Matthew 25:35-37
Protecting the Health and Safety of Our Community
In 2011 The Community Foundation identified “emergency shelter for homeless families” as one of Frederick’s most pressing needs. The Coalition immediately responded and developed a program as quickly as possible. Today the Religious Coalition sponsors a rotating family shelter in which local congregations host 2-5 homeless families — about 15 people—at night for a week at a time. During the daytime families are sheltered in the day shelter on All Saints Street. This solution has worked as an emergency stopgap, but is far from ideal.
It is time to develop a permanent site for the shelter and The Coalition is ready to move forward. I am inviting all of the Episcopal Churches in the Frederick Region to join in this effort. We hope you will consider doing whatever you can to make it a success.
A New Emergency Shelter for Homeless Families – At a Glance
WHAT: Develop a fixed site, overnight emergency shelter for up to 45 people— 10 to 11 families, depending on household size– with an associated day program and assist families to achieve permanent housing and more stable lives. An estimated $3 million will be needed to cover the property, subdivision, architectural and renovation costs, and the first year of operating expenses.
WHY: The current Family Shelter model is inadequate in concept, size, and scope. The proposed fixed-site approach will allow us to triple the capacity of the current program, reduce the number of costly hotel rooms needed when demand exceeds capacity, and provide stability for families.
WHERE: 7516 Hayward Road, Frederick MD 21702 (transferred from the City of Frederick at zero cost), an 8,300-square-foot farmhouse only 3 miles from the DeGrange Street campus, easily accessible to social services and other resources and located on public transportation routes.
HOW: Project will be funded through grants, contributions, and a community capital campaign.
WHEN: Two (2) years from the beginning of the capital campaign to the opening of the fixed-site location.
As the Regional Deacon for Frederick County, I am spearheading an effort to raise $10,000 over the next two years for this purpose. I have signed a pledge for that amount in the name of the Episcopal Churches of Frederick County. We already have a $5,000 match and believe we have the resources to raise the other $5,000 over the next two years. This will also give us the opportunity to name one of the two laundry rooms at the new shelter.
I ask you to prayerfully consider making a donation in this effort. Please make checks out to All Saints’ Episcopal Church with BEYOND SHELTER on the memo line, or give online now. Mail checks to: Deacon Kathleen Smith-Jones, All Saints’ Episcopal Church, 106 W. Church Street, Frederick, MD 21701. If you would like to suggest a name for the new laundry room, place a piece of paper in with your check with your suggestion. Thank you in advance for your generosity.
—The Rev. Kathleen Smith-Jones
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