February 2022

 Embody -I was a STRANGER and YOU welcomed ME


“But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this? Everything comes from you, and we have given you only what comes from your hand.” 1 Chronicles 29:14

 Richie had been homeless for a number of years, spending many of his nights on the Boston Common, or at shelters, always apprehensive that all his belongings will be taken away, or stolen from him. A few years ago, for Easter, he wrote a play; a play he wished would be brought to life at our homeless outreach ministry, H.O.M.E (Homeless Outreach Ministry and Engagement, formerly T.N.O). That year, H.O.M.E volunteers worked over several weeks, practicing the script, finding costumes, musical scores, and background images, to perform the play on a Thursday night, before Easter. Richie, was thrilled, excited as he participated in his own play, playing the role of an angel.

 In January of 2019, a point-in-time count, conducted by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development reported more than 18,000 people in Massachusetts as experiencing homelessness. Of these, over 60% were people in families, with children. About 900 were veterans, and over 1,300 experienced chronic homelessness (1).

 We are constantly reminded throughout scripture (2) that our ability to love our neighbor is one of the two greatest commandments. God also reminds us that all that we have comes from Him, and that whatever we do unto the least of our brethren, we do unto Him.

H.O.M.E is a City Engagement ministry that seeks to exemplify this commandment, and recognize that all we have are His. We aim to serve those in Park Street church’s neighborhood.

H.O.M.E volunteers meet twice a week, on Thursday evenings, and Saturday mornings, in the church’s Fellowship Hall to prepare and serve a hot meal to our neighbors who have lined up along Tremont and Park Street. In a week, we can typically serve more than 100 guests. We have continued our service throughout the pandemic and adapted it to make it a safe serving environment for our volunteers and guests.

In addition to a hot meal, we also give away socks, underwear, and other toiletries, which are highly sought after. H.O.M.E also maintains a clothing pantry with a wide selection of garments for men and women, of various sizes.

Any of these services we provide will, however, be futile in the long run without devising a system to enable our guests to reach a level of safety and security on their own. To this end, we not only provide meals and supplies, but also actively attempt to form relationships. Through these we pave the way to help guests find jobs, and housing, assist in visits to the physician and in general be more comfortable with seeking help. However, there are several unmet needs.

Poverty and homelessness are complex problems, requiring innovative solutions (3), particularly, with Massachusetts ranking third in the list of least affordable states in the U.S (4). COVID has presented an additional problem, exacerbating the situation, with prolonged isolation and economic stress (5). These realities emphasize the fact that this opportunity to serve, to aid in efforts to alleviate this situation, however small, is vital.

Through the pandemic, H.O.M.E has benefited from key ministries developed by Kimberley Morrison, our Minister for City Engagement, that complemented its mission, such as the Warming Center work in conjunction with HOME to extend the services we offer the community.

As a result, our guests could, for the first time in months, find a warm place to rest, read, and be fed both physically and spiritually at the Church. Three sessions of the Warming Center were organized each Saturday, that flanked H.O.M.E ministry efforts. Guests have access to spiritually nourishing books, and find a time of fellowship with volunteers.

While we serve the houseless population through H.O.M.E, we are also acutely aware that there are those not yet homeless, but at the brink of being houseless, those living below the poverty line. Novel solutions are needed to address these problems. Although we may not be able to solve these problems in their entirety, we can certainly make a dent.

Under Kimberley’s leadership we have begun addressing some of these issues with the establishment of a PSC Food Bank, and a Grant Writing Team to strategically enable us to apply for City resources to aid these issues.

If you are interested in serving the homeless community in our neighborhood please sign-up here.


1. mahomeless.org/basic-facts/

2. Mark 12:30-31; Matt 25:40; Deut 15:7-10

3. povertyactionlab.org/evaluation/ rapid-re-housing-reduce-homelessness-united-states

4. reports.nlihc.org/oor

5. nlihc.org/sites/default/files/oor/ 2021/Out-of-Reach_2021.pdf