Hard Times Supper feeds
all of the bodies and souls:
We’re all in it together.
“I’m great…you know why? God gave me another day to walk this earth and watch.” Jeremy tells me this every morning when I ask how he’s doing. He helps me unlock the Sunnyside Community House and often is thankful for a breakfast sandwich Pat has stocked in the fridge. I hear Jeremy in my head any time things feel hard. “…walk this earth and watch…” and remember that the work, while hard, is inevitably good and it is somewhat miraculous that we get to spend these moments together. We are so pleased to tell you that the steady healthy heartbeat of our work, continues to be the Hard Times Supper and the work of our Homeless Ministry in the basement of 3520 SE Yamhill. In this season, or throughout the year, will you please support our work?
In addition to celebrating the 38th year!!! of Wednesday evening suppers, where between 120-150 folks come for good food and conversation, we are also now open four afternoons each week and many mornings too. This allows our community to know there is often an open door to come in from the rain, a warm cup of coffee, a shower, a kind word, or just a place to rest. We do what we can with an amazing array of volunteers and are always looking to do more. This year, we calculate that we have offered more than:
18,000 plates of warm food
20 nights of emergency weather shelter
Hosted a 24 hour toilet
Additional dumpster and refuse options
Orchestrate an active clothing, blanket, sleeping bag exchange, wherein thousands of articles have come and gone from our closets and laundry room
Added a small computer lab with donated computers
But more than anything tabulatable, we have offered community. We have become a family. We know each others’ names and stories and dreams. We remind one another, regardless of where we come from or where we are going that we are all in this life together. We try to say yes to the many humble requests of help and model the joy that kindness can bring to everybody. Recently we took a survey of our folks at the Hard Times Supper. One question we asked was, what’s one thing you’d like your housed neighbors to know? Answers came back like: “I’m trying”, “I like to work”, “I wish you asked me my name”, “I’ve had a hard time but I’m still happy” or “We’re not all addicts and alcoholics”. We read these reflections with tears in our eyes.
We know these statements are true and we see it everyday. It is heartening to know that our simple efforts to meet our neighbors exactly where are is making a difference and we want to do more. We are days away from beginning work on a long-awaited bathroom remodel that will give us a second shower. This increased capacity is our most asked-for need and we are excited to be able to say yes more often. Sometimes 5 minutes of hot water is all a person needs to rediscover a little peace and hope.
Additionally we have need of some roofing repairs, some plumbing upgrades, and repairs to our gymnasium (a true neighborhood treasure) that will all help us keep this amazing building– the true sanctuary that we know it already is for so many of us–open and vital. As the haiku above says, the impact of service is on all of us. The Hard Times Supper and all the associated work at building relationships and community, doubtlessly help those being served, but also those doing the serving are changed in the act. Love only grows more love and we invite you to join us. If you have it in your budget to support us financially, we will put every dollar to good use in support of the building and the people who call it home. Checks to “Metanoia” are tax deductible and cherished. Ongoing monthly donations can also be established and help us to know our sustaining budget for a year at a time. Smaller one time donations can be made through our website at www.sunnysidecommunityhouse.
If you do not have the means to support us financially at this time, consider if you have any skills or connections that might help us meet our repair goals. Do you know a great roofer or plumber or contractor? Do you have an extra fridge or freezer that you no longer need? Do you want to join us in cleaning the Sunnyside Park on behalf of the church any time? Do you want to volunteer at the winter shelter? If so, please be in touch with John at 503 382 9607 or firstname.lastname@example.org
We are always grateful for any support in any form that you can offer.
All the best and happy new year,
Pat Schwiebert and John Mayer