Working together with 80 area congregations and community groups, St. Paul’s Ivy will help ensure that the homeless women and men who need a warm place to sleep this coming winter will find accommodation through PACEM (People And Congregations Engaged in Ministry). PACEM provided shelter to 218 adults last winter, with an average of 38 men and 9 women each night from November through March. Who are the PACEM clients? PACEM statistics tell us that 16% of their 2013-2014 clients were U.S. military veterans, 18% were chronically homeless, and 22% work. PACEM staff help clients to acquire identification they may have lost in order to find work and housing, and they work together with the Salvation Army and Mohr Center to take steps to find a stable housing solution. PACEM is the place of last resort for homeless adults who need overnight shelter in the winter.
The homeless clients are checked in at the Haven downtown and screened for sobriety before they are permitted to board a JABA bus to transport them to an area church or synagogue. our church will host the women’s shelter again early 2017, when we will provide dinner and overnight accommodation in our parish hall for one week. A PACEM staff member will spend the night at SPI with the clients.
Opportunities for service during that week will include set up of the sleeping area (cots, pillows, linens, and blankets provided by PACEM), dinners for about 15 people in the parish hall, evening activities, morning coffee, and packing up of the cots, pillows, linen, and blankets. Families may work individually or in small groups to provide hospitality for the clients. Participation in this ministry helps us to gain an expanded awareness of what Jesus meant by serving our brothers and sisters.
Click here for a terrific article about PACEM from WMRA radio!