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Christians And Muslims Partner For The Homeless Christmas Wish List
Go to www.homelesspartners.com, read stories of homeless people, pledge a gift, take it to the shelter or order through an online store using the ID number with the shelter address.
This is the ten-year anniversary for Homeless Partners. Since 2005, volunteers have gone into emergency shelters to interview people who are homeless. The volunteers record inspirational stories about the lives of each homeless person and get their Christmas wish List. Then they post those stories and wish lists on the website www.homelesspartners.com so that people in the community can go to the website, read the stories, buy the gift, and deliver it directly to the shelter with a caring personal message.
This year, the Victoria chapter of Homeless Partners is trying something new---- they are multi-faith partnering their volunteers to go into Cool Aid’s shelters to conduct the interviews.
“When the homeless feel cared about, they have a little more strength to move forward in their lives,” says Daniel Keeran, who founded www.homelesspartners.com with his wife, Jennie. “There’s something powerfully bonding about sitting together and listening to someone else’s story that promotes trust, empathy and compassion. This project provides a safe way for the community, including people of all faiths and others, to use their strengths and shared value for helping those in trouble. The process supports understanding and respect between different religions while they contribute to a more compassionate community that cares about the homeless.”
Father Dean Henderson, Catholic Chaplain University of Victoria and Camosun College & University of Victoria Multi-faith Services says: “this initiative is one more way that we can put our faith into action and support those who have a special place in the heart of God”.
Mustafa Abousaleh, with the BC Muslim Association and one of the youth leaders at the Masjid Al-Iman Mosque says, “Speaking from the heart I must say that such projects are highly significant and very much needed in a relatively small city such as ours. In any community it takes less than 2% of its members to create an impact and an everlasting change and I’m very hopeful that this initiative and other similar ones will inspire the support of Victoria and hopefully more to come.”
It is the long term goal of Homeless Partners to help the homeless at the same time they promote connection and compassion among all community members. As we sit together, working side by side, against the common foe of poverty, increased trust, respect and acknowledgement that we share common values is a natural outcome. We work together for the common good while we establish an environment that is conducive to peace.
Homeless Partners is a non-profit, self-funded program supported entirely by volunteer efforts, in partnership with the staff at shelters where the program is offered. Many people want to help the homeless but are unsure about how to best help. Homeless Partners provides a safe, effective way to give directly to those who are hurting.
Homeless Partners has connected thousands of homeless people with the wider community. They encourage other cities to join them in this effort by adding new cities to the Homeless Partners website. Click on “Add Your City” to join our mission. For more information, visit www.homelesspartners.com.
SEE VIDEO HERE
College of Mental Health Counseling