Mary’s Place - By Ann Polansky

I looked online to see what I could find in scripture about helping the homeless. There is so much written; from Leviticus to Proverbs to Matthew, and more. We, as Christians, are called to help those in need, the marginalized and those who are suffering in one way or another. I read an interesting article about practicing biblical hospitality, and that is what hosting Mary’s Place families is all about.

Mary’s Place is an agency that provides daytime shelter for homeless women and women with children. This is a community where they can find resources to restore their lives. Services are provided such as referrals for social service resources, hot meals, showers, laundry facilities, support groups and more.

There is a network of churches in Seattle that house these families overnight since Mary’s Place is not equipped to do that. MBPPC is part of that network and hosts families for a week each quarter. Families are transported from Mary’s Place in the early evening (in a van provided by Mary’s Place and driven by a volunteer) to the church and shortly thereafter served dinner. During the evening they can shower, kids do homework, read or play games. The next morning they get breakfast and are off to school or Mary’s Place again. The host church’s job is to provide beds, meals, and a welcoming atmosphere for these people (usually 4 or so families). There are many ways to help… from setting up the church for their arrival to providing a meal, driving the van, helping with homework, playing a game or just chatting with a tired mom.

I helped in December and am looking forward to the next time in March. The children that I worked/played with were delightful! They were so interested in the activities that I had brought …and full of energy! This mission is one close to my heart and I’m hoping that by giving you a little peek into what it’s all about it might spark your interest in helping out too. Several others in our congregation have volunteered: Liz, Louise, Sandy, Katy, Greta and perhaps others. I’m sure they would be willing to tell you about their experience too. There are also plans in the works for the youth to participate in the upcoming hosting!

Here’s some pertinent information:
Upcoming hosting dates:
March 4-11, June 3-10
MBPPC Contact person:
Jane Graham jh_graham@hotmail.com
More info about Mary’s Place:
Google “Mary’s Place Seattle”
Here’s the website where you can sign up to work:
http://vols.pt/pWuSeo
It’s very user friendly!

New volunteers are required to attend a short training before working (usually held after their worship service and before ours). And you are also asked to provide name and birth date info for a background check. Please ask one of us who have had the experience…we’d love to share!