By Pastor Wayne Bauer
Faith Community Church would like to extend our sincere gratitude to our community for the outpouring of support for the residents of St. Francis House after Hurricane Matthew. The residents of the transitional and family housing at St. Francis House evacuated to hurricane shelters with only three days worth of supplies in-hand. When the Hurricane shelters closed, these families and individuals could not return to St. Francis House because of significant damage, so they moved into Faith Community Church on Sunday Oct. 9.
Word rapidly spread throughout the community and people immediately began dropping off donations and offering to help. Some of the donations dropped off at Faith Community Church were used by the residents, some were distributed to the homeless in downtown St. Augustine, and some are being stored until St. Francis can reopen. The staff and residents of St. Francis House were touched by the generosity of our community.
In the beginning, 27 people were staying at Faith Community Church, including nine children and an infant. Meals were coordinated by St. Francis House via community volunteers, since Faith Community Church does not have a full kitchen. An outdoor shower was donated and volunteers kept towels laundered. Many of the adult residents have jobs in St. Augustine and throughout the week some were able to find places to stay closer to their jobs.
By Tuesday, Oct. 18, the remaining two families and two single adults left Faith Community Church to stay in other temporary accommodations closer to St. Augustine.
Faith Community Church is grateful for the staff and residents of St. Frances House; they touched our hearts in countless ways and they took wonderful care of our facility. It may be months before Saint Francis House is able to reopen. Please watch their website at stfrancisshelter.org for ways to help them in the coming days.
Photo courtesy Wayne Bauer