Dear fellow Mount Zion members,
Every June, for almost two decades, our congregation has participated in “Project Home” by creating a month-long family homeless shelter within our walls. Our community has hosted about 20 adults and children who are temporarily without a home of their own. We prepare meals, play endless games, and read many books with engaging little ones, sleep at Mount Zion overnight, and serve breakfast in the morning. Many of us have done this with the help of our own youngsters (some of whom are now grown, with their own babies and little ones).
This year the world changed, and Project Home has had to change as well. On March 23, 2020, Project Home began “sheltering in place.” Families have needed to leave the usual rooms in church and temple social halls and gather instead in a temporary shelter in the gymnasium of the First Baptist Church, in downtown St. Paul. And Project Home families will remain at that location until further notice. As a result, we at Mount Zion will miss the opportunity this year to engage in the June mitzvah that has enriched our lives for so long—a rich part of our congregation’s annual cycle of holidays, celebrations, and Tikkun olam (helping to repair the world).
But Project Home is still going full force, providing shelter and healthy meals to its participating families, and providing education and art materials for school-age children in the shelter. We cannot support the work this year with our own in-person participation: Project Home cannot make use of direct-contact volunteers with all of our current concerns about contagion. But there is still the opportunity to donate—and a greater need than ever for funds to support our Project Home families. A donation here can help provide the support that we all wish we could offer in person here at Mount Zion.
Project Home operates as part of the organization known as Interfaith Action of Greater Saint Paul. It’s easy to donate. Plan to see families back with us in person next year.
The Mount Zion Project Home Coordinators