Bleak House: Grace Episcopal’s Homeless Shelter a dispiriting place

That’s the headline I woke up to this morning. Here’s a link to the front page. Rather dispiriting, don’t you think? I shot an email off to the author of the article before reading it; it wasn’t yet on the website. By the time I got to the office, copies of The Isthmus were available. The article by Joe Tarr was well-researched, well-written, and balanced. He spent a night in the shelter to get some first-hand experience of what goes on there.

In a return email, Joe assured me they would make a clarification in next week’s issue, but anyone reading the article would quickly realize that the shelte is run by Porchlight, not us; and that it is ours only because we rent the space.

Still, part of the headline is true. The shelter is a dispiriting place, and we need to shoulder some of the responsibility for that.

There is a great deal of energy bubbling up in the downtown area around the issue of homelessness and the shelter and I am very hopeful that there will be some substantive changes. Several innovative ministries and outreach programs have developed recently and the growing concern over conditions in the drop-in shelter may lead to some change there too.

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