I was out at the encampments today checking in with folks. Things down on Cesar Chavez looked pretty much the same as last week, but people reported SFPD came today and told them they are doing sweeps early tomorrow morning. The cops were threatening to arrest anyone who was still there in the morning, but they are threatened on a regular basis and never really know when sweeps will actually happen. There were no longer ‘notices to vacate’ posted. The thing that was out of the norm was that people reported Caltrain had engineers with them today scoping things out so they may be putting fences up.
If I was experiencing homelessness these days the place I would go to seek refuge from the elements and to get some sleep would be in the doorway of a church. The reason I would go to a Christian church to sleep is because of the parable in their teaching about the Rich Man and Lazarus. In case you don’t know it, I’ll provide an overview… Continue reading →
Division Street, San Francisco- SFPD & DPW did “sweeps” of the encampment and erected a fence.
We went on a 5AM outreach shift this morning because folks in the encampments were told by SFPD that they were going to be doing sweeps and taking their tents and stuff. We didn’t see cops or DPW, but it looks like they’d already made the rounds, at least to this area. Continue reading →
I wrote the article “Pastoral Care of the Queer Person: Questions for the Synod” and received the comment “This whole thing is painfully vague.” I was a bit tired of the negative comments I was receiving from those who obviously hadn’t read what I wrote and so I responded in somewhat of a snarky manner, but it turned into a good discussion about the subject. I felt like it’s worth posting because it’s relevant to the overall discussion…
I heard a Franciscan speak about his experience with social ministries and social justice and he ‘spoke my language’ so I asked if he could find time to chat with me… so I could pick his brain a bit because he clearly has a history of organizing within the Church. When he heard about my experience in social work, social justice, community organizing, and advocacy on homelessness, he said he wanted to pick my brain about a program for his parish.
This is what I wrote him after our afternoon together… somewhat of a stream of consciousness and piecing together a puzzle. I was reflecting back what I was hearing from him and things that came up in our discussion. I was presenting questions and ideas for him to consider, but it’s relevant to any parish community.
I was waiting at the bus stop on my way to go to Mass and a police car pulled up… moving fast enough to where I felt the need to jump back from the curb as a precaution. What was the hurry? Well… there was a man who is a senior citizen sitting in his wheelchair next to me at the bus stop. You may be wondering what the crisis was. He wasn’t intoxicated or even causing a scene… he was quietly sitting next to me… in fact we were chatting and he was quite friendly.
The man was guilty of being homeless and sitting in his wheelchair at a bus stop on a public sidewalk. Continue reading →
One of the deacons asked me to write a reflection piece for a newsletter they hand out in their jail ministry. It’s not something I’ve done before, but I told him I would jot some of my thoughts down. It’s on the story of the woman caught in adultery who the crowd wanted to stone, but then Jesus was like… this is some BS… you all need to step off and mind your business! I’ll add the passage so you can get the context of it, rather than basing it on this explanation I just gave.