Samaritan House and All Saints' Episcopal Church Serve Neighbors
“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.'”Matthew 25:40
On Saturday, June 7th, 2014, All Saints’, Lakewood members, friends, local government officials, and employees of various social service organizations, celebrated the grand opening of Samaritan House.
Located on the grounds of All Saints’ Episcopal Church in Lakewood, New Jersey, the space was once used for church storage; however, through the dedicated efforts of retired rector Fr. Bert Draesel, the commitment of all Vestry members, and the hard work of All Saints’ lay leadership, was transformed into a nine-bed shelter for homeless men.
For the past two years, Samaritan House and the 99 guests who have lived there have positively impacted their lives, the parish congregation, and community through the love of Jesus Christ. The 72% success rate of helping guests regain order in their lives is based on a proven methodology of support and counseling, and through the encouragement of guest involvement in worship, through attendance at the Eucharist and as volunteers at the parish Sunday Soup Kitchen and Food Pantry for those less fortunate in the community.
Through pastoral care under the leadership of Fr. Monge, these activities continue to serve as conspicuous reminders to all of the many ways in which God’s blessings flow. All Saints’ is always finding new ways in which to use the Church resources, for the good of our communities, reflecting they are part of The Jesus Movement.
To learn more about Samaritan House, and to read testimonies of Samaritan House guests, please follow this link.
To learn more about becoming a Jubilee Ministry Center in the Diocese of New Jersey, please contact Canon Clara Gregory, Diocesan Jubilee Officer.
Only when people have safe, affordable, and decent places to live can New Jersey have a productive and stable future. There is a growing body of research showing a direct link between “housing security” and physical/mental health, depression, behavioral, and school problems among children, etc., as well as demonstrating the ultimate costs of these problems to society. (Anti-Poverty Network of NJ – 2016)
Jubilee Ministries are programs of joint discipleship in Christ with poor and oppressed people, wherever they are found, to meet basic human needs, and to build a just society. For more information on Jubilee Ministries, please visit http://www.episcopalchurch.org/page/domestic-poverty-ministries, and like and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
The Rev. Melanie Mullen
Director of Reconciliation, Justice and Creation Care