This project is highly benevolent as it is helpful for the people that are always in need like the homeless people. The St. Boniface church in San Francisco opened its doors for homeless people 15 years ago thus providing them the needed shelter. The Gubbio Project was initiated by Father Louis Vitale of the church in collaboration with the community activist Shelly Roder. They offered the church for a restful sleep of people in need, and since then hundreds of people use it every day, sleeping on the pews, covered with blankets given by the staff.
On the website of the Gubbio Project’s, you will read the following:
“No questions are asked when our guests walk into the churches; in an effort to remove all barriers to entry, there are no sign-in sheets or intake forms. No one has ever been turned away; all are welcomed, respected and treated with dignity”.
The church still remains open for the local churchgoers during the day, but 2/3 of it are offered to the people in need.
A representative of Gubbio states the following, quoting:
“This sends a powerful message to our unhoused neighbors – they are in essence part of the community, not to be kicked out when those with homes come in to worship. It also sends a message to those attending mass – the community includes the tired, the poor, those with mental health issues and those who are wet, cold and dirty.”
The homeless people who come in this church and seek for shelter are treated as guests with dignity and respect. Contrary to the other homeless shelters where people are treated as prisoners here the situation is completely different as it is a safe place to stay in.
The Three Goals of the Gubbio Project
Goal 1. – “to provide a clean, beautiful, quiet, and safe space for people to rest during the day.
Goal 2. – ” to cultivate a sense of community among the homeless and a sense of understanding and shared responsibility in the broader community.”
Goal 3. – ”to attend to the physical, social, psychological and spiritual well-being of homeless guests who share the Gubbio space at St. Boniface and St. John.”
Being homeless is an unfortunate situation in life and as if the situation is not bad enough these people regularly are being treated badly. People rarely show kindness towards them and in most case they are forced out, and also laws are being implemented so that to prevent the spread of diseases. The activists state that these laws make their situation even harder and it criminalizes the homeless.
Mark Lane, a dedicated activist, states the following:
“It means they are criminalizing homelessness. They’ve created four laws against the homeless. No camping, no sleeping in cars, no panhandling and no feeding the homeless”.
The world in which we live in is cruel and we as humans can be really cruel, but there is always some beak of humanity that inspires other people to follow. One of those beaks is this church that relentlessly opened the doors to the ones who mostly need to feel the warmth of God and another human being.
Thanks to this church we can still believe that there is still hope where benevolence and human kindness can prevail over the cruelty in the world.