December 1, 2017
Our friends with the Urban Ministry Center sent us this update from Room in the Inn:
Thanks to all hosts and volunteers that stepped up to the challenge of frigid weather over a holiday weekend. RITI usually experiences a downturn of beds available over holidays, but not this weekend. Congregations added hosting nights, added beds to their already-pledged totals…even in one case taking more neighbors at the end of the evening so that no one had to be turned away. And there were still others who could not host yet emailed me to let me know their hearts were with us.
And thanks to the evening teams and to the RITI “saints” (our on-call volunteers), who showed up in force and worked cheerfully with the neighbors under difficult circumstances. And thanks to Officer Mike Warren, who arrived at the Center at 7 a.m. over the weekend to let neighbors in out of the cold, and who worked with staff and neighbors to make the RITI check-in process run smoothly.
Here are the bed totals for the holiday weekend nights:
- 12/29 – 129
- 12/30 – 123
- 12/31 – 143
- 01/01 – 195!
The cold weather continues through the week, and here are our bed counts as of this morning:
- Tuesday – 122
- Wednesday – 158
- Thursday – 173
- Friday – 225
- Saturday – 143
- Sunday – 104
Half a century or more ago, President Franklin D. Roosevelt declared, “The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much it is whether we provide enough for those who have little.” Several millennia ago, another man said, “Inasmuch as you have done it to some of the least of these, you have done it to me.” When we offer hospitality to the most vulnerable among us, we are in essence serving the whole of creation…we are honoring the deeper dimension in which we all are united.
First Presbyterian will continue its Room in the Inn hospitality on Monday and Tuesday nights through March, 2018. This includes warm beds, warm food and warm hearts. Sign up today to welcome our neighbors.