|Saint John's Cathedral is committed to supporting the new apartments we are building with The Saint Francis Center across the street to the Cathedral’s north, across 14th street.
In a few months, 50 people and families will collect their large grey bag, the standard issue at the Saint Francis Center, in which their possessions have been held while homeless. With a single, new, shiny key; they will enter a new apartment, placing their clothes in a new dresser. In that new apartment they will find a bed, some chairs, a side table, a couch, two throw pillows, sheets, bath towels, trash bins, kitchen equipment, new light bulbs, a dining table, cutlery, napkins, a flower vase with a yellow rose, and more –all the furnishings needed to live a new life of hot showers, safe quietness and soft sheets.
We are asking fifty members of our congregation to pledge fifty gifts of $2,500 to fill fifty apartments full of everything a person needs to live their new life past the experience of homelessness.
The people of Saint John’s Cathedral are providing a place of peace for people who have been homeless. We are working with The Saint Francis Center, an agency we founded more than 30 years ago. We are buying furnishings and housewares for fifty apartments – for fifty people no longer homeless. For fifty homes on the cathedral’s land. It is work Jesus would recognize. It is work Jesus discussed. It is work Jesus called Christians to do. So we are doing it. Now. We hope you will be a part of it.
Wayne is a man who went to college and imagined a wonderful life for himself. But he began to drink some and other thing led to another – one job loss after another and then – homelessness.
Sally had a good job in a typing pool but cancer made her sick and the medications to fight the cancer made her sicker. Time home from work hovering near nausea meant that she lost her job and then her home. Her son was homeless with her.
Maria was homeless for twenty years but now had a home in some previously built Saint Francis Apartments at Park and Curtis Streets. She invited me into her Saint Francis Center apartment and we talked about what it was when she and her husband were homeless. She invited me over to the window. She pointed down to the street. “See that grey spot of pavement by the wall?” I could see it. “I slept there often before they built this building. Now we have permanent housing. But I can, from my living room, see where I once slept on the streets of Denver.”
Our chapel is named for Saint Martin who tore his cloak in half for a homeless person, only to find out it was Jesus, disguised. We hope you will close your eyes. Imagine a person sleeping on the streets. Imagine them opening the door to their new apartment – peace and stability. And imagine that you, through your generosity, have made that lamp, that shelf, that table, that towel and those sheets possible because you gave $2,500 – about what the average American spend every other year on Starbucks coffee or cable television.
We hope you, now, will make a pledge of $2,500 to furnish a Saint Francis Apartment at Cathedral Square North.