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Since December of 2009, we have participated in the Rotating Emergency Shelter Team (REST) along with 15 other faith communities to provide food and shelter for the homeless, beginning in November with the onset of the rainy season, and concluding in April.
The Rotating Emergency Shelter Team (REST) program is a faith-based rotating shelter program serving up to 40 homeless men and 20 homeless women between November 15 and April 15. The program is a cooperative effort among leaders of San Rafael’s St. Vincent de Paul organization, Marin’s Interfaith Chaplaincy and a group of about 15 congregations throughout the county. The program developed out of a dire need for emergency shelter housing in the county. In 2011, according to a survey by Marin Countyʼs Health and Human Services, there were 1,200 people counted as living homeless, in temporary shelter, or in transitional housing, while 4,103 were considered “precariously housed” and at risk of homelessness; up sharply from the 2009 count. Homeward Bound’s Mill Street Center in San Rafael hosts the only 55 emergency shelter beds in the county, which are available to individuals only and not families. The REST program doubles this number of people who are sheltered. Every year, about 10 people die homeless in Marin.
For more information about the REST program at our church, contact coordinator Joy Snyder, firstname.lastname@example.org.
All members of the community are welcome to volunteer to help with REST at our church or other participating congregations in Marin. Only scheduled volunteers are permitted to be on site when we host our guests. If you would like to volunteer with REST on Friday nights at First Presbyterian Church of San Anselmo specifically, please contact us at email@example.com. Help is needed in preparing food, set-up, and clean-up. Shifts are from approximately 5pm to 8pm.