Churches are stepping up
While I appreciate the effort to call attention to challenges revolving around encampments for the homeless, I was disappointed that the statements made about faith communities in Seattle were unhelpful. [“Who will step up to help the homeless?”, Opinion, Aug. 4.]
To say that “no religious entity has stepped up recently to host a camp in Seattle” is simply untrue. Saint Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral, long known for its commitment to social justice, will greet Tent City 3 (TC3) on Saturday, Aug. 10.
Some 100 members of TC3 arrive to set up residence on the lower half of our parking lot, which they will call home until October, when they will move to another church.
This will mark the 13th consecutive year Saint Mark’s Cathedral has welcomed this group onto our campus, and with broad support from our Capitol Hill neighbors. We also host 30 homeless women in our parish hall five nights each week as part of the Noel House ministries.
Why do we offer these services? Because the need is there, and because we are blessed by the experience, too. Our ministry is more than hospitality; it affords opportunity to engage one another in our common humanity, and those who worship here gain wisdom from the people who live alongside us for a time.
We invite other communities of faith to consider joining us and the other congregations that already support those for whom tent encampments are necessary, even while we long for comprehensive community plans to end homeless in our great city.
Rev. Steven Thomason, Saint Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral, Seattle