RVUUF’s Religious Explorations youth will soon assemble boxes of warm winter socks and gloves for adults who seek refuge at Ashland’s Pioneer Hall homeless shelter. All RVUUFians are invited to help by donating socks or gloves for adult men or women. John Wieczoreck says that new, thick, wool or cotton work socks are the most useful items, but insulated gloves are also needed. Look for the green collection bin under the balcony through Thursday, Nov. 30.
RVUUF’s Social Justice and Action Committee’s Winter Homeless Shelter Program is the third-Sunday offering recipient for September. John Wieczorek will present on behalf of the SJ&A Committee.
This is RVUUF’s sixth winter of providing a safe, warm and dry place to sleep for those who do not have shelter. RVUUF supplies the no-frills shelter with blankets, sleeping pads, coffee, and most importantly, volunteers. The Social Justice and Action Committee appreciates the Fellowship’s continued support in providing this vital service to our most vulnerable community members.
RVUUF’s Social Justice and Action Committee is seeking new members. This vital committee engages the wider community through social action and promotion of social justice, and has focused on homeless issues this year. If interested, use RVUUF’s contact form to connect with committee co-chairs Diane Werich and Linden Crouch.
RVUUF has been operating an “Overnight Parking Program.” The purpose is to give people who have no alternative but to live and sleep in their cars a place to park overnight with a minimum of services. RVUUF has allocated three parking spots behind Emerson House, and all three are currently assigned to guests.
According to this week’s “News to Note,” before RVUUF permits a person to park overnight, the person is interviewed and has to sign a document, “basically agreeing that they will be respectful of the property, other guests and the neighbors, and indemnifying the Fellowship.” Parking is available to them between the hours of 8 p.m. and 9 a.m. the next morning. RVUUF provides a portable toilet, a place to dispose of garbage and guest access to the Internet. They are also welcome to grab a cup of coffee from the RVUUF Builders as they leave in the morning.
If you hear of someone who would like to take advantage of the program please have them contact Linden Crouch, John Wieczorek, or John Limb. “If we have space, we will meet with them and ‘vet’ them and have them sign the agreement forms. We do give priority to families.”
In 2014 I was told by the search committee that what RVUUF was looking for in a minister was to help you move from an “I” church to a “We” church and to help you practice right relations and compassionate communication.
March is blowing in with a flurry of activity at RVUUF and the Soul Matters theme asks, “What does it mean to be a community of risk?”
Today’s third-Sunday collection recipient will be RVUUF’s Safe Parking Task Force, which is working to mitigate homelessness in Ashland by offering a safe space with an outdoor restroom for families without homes to temporarily park their vehicles overnight, without the threat of law enforcement or other types of harassment. The speaker will be Ollie Bucolo, RVUUF’s board liaison to the task force. From a write-up in this week’s “News to Note:”
“The program is based on several other successful programs on the West Coast, primarily in Eugene, Oregon and Washington State, that have pioneered coalitions between faith organizations and local municipalities, providing a safe space on their property for homeless families. As the first of its kind in Southern Oregon, this program will serve as a pilot for the rest of the area. As such, its success is very important in the struggle for affordable housing in Southern Oregon and beyond.”
Cynthia M. Parkhill
There are many people who, having lost their homes, are forced to live in their cars or vans. Car camping on the street is illegal in Ashland and the police will move people on or ticket them.
“Thank you.” Words spoken, and written, to ensure you understand that gratitude abounds within me and the leadership and members of RVUUF.