Cookie Settings

From Don Fornoff, Member of The Bishop’s Task Force on Homelessness:

The Bishop’s Task Force on Homelessness has for 3 years been outlining ways in which the Diocese’s parishes can face up to the monumental concerns over homelessness. It can be daunting taking action about such a complicated social problem. Providing shelter space. Safe parking. Advocacy to local and state entities. Providing affordable housing. All these services to include many other services of outreach are being successfully utilized by some parishes and other churches.

Thanksgiving got me thinking about much simpler ways to get started. Or to continue with supportive actions for established providers of homeless services. Feeding programs come immediately to mind, because we Episcopalians do this so well for ourselves and others. Direct food delivery. On-site sit-down meals. Special meals for elders. Food bank collections. These efforts are not one and done acts. It doesn’t take many hands to do this. Just ask around to see where you best fit in.

My parish, Church of the Ascension, Seattle has been since 2015 supporting in various ways Tent City 5, which eventually became Interbay Village with 40 tiny houses, and expanded to 70 or so houses. A more comprehensive feeding plan is in place, provided under contract to Low Income Housing Institute, the manager. Yet, a desire to have a large Thanksgiving meal led to Ascension and friends preparing a full meal the day of Thanksgiving and serving it on site to over 60 residents of the Village. Food, joy and love was shared with these folks. And further personal connections were made.

As we move into 2023, I encourage every outreach group from every parish to look towards ways to serve the unhoused. The members of the Task Force are willing, able, available and ready to answer questions, comment on best practices, and find ways for your outreach group to take action. Contact Don Fornoff by email at

Giving Thanks to the Unhoused

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *