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Yearning for a world healed of violence and injustice,
We of the Gubbio Project embrace our mission:
to cultivate a sense of community--
discovering where it exists,
healing where it is wounded,
nurturing where it is absent;
to be a place for neighbors in the Tenderloin--
to join together, connect and celebrate,
to nurture the capacity of each to be fully alive--
loved and loving,
secure and at home,
to be allies for each other--
to reveal the beauty and dignity of
each person who finds rest in our Church.
November 5, 2008
The Gubbio Project seeks to create a safe place for our homeless neighbors who find refuge in our Church.
In 2003, St. Boniface Neighborhood Center began working toward a concrete response to the increasing numbers of women and men seeking refuge from the streets during the daylight hours, particularly during periods of inclement weather. Working in Collaboration with St. Boniface Church, this response took tangible form in April 2004 with the launching of The Gubbio Project. Inspired by Francis of Assisi's solidarity with and love for the poor and outcast, The Gubbio Project provides a system of outreach, compassionate support services and lots of advocacy. All services are open to anyone regardless of their religious affiliation. We seek to serve those individuals and families who survive without any safety net from the public sector.
Facets of The Gubbio Project include: Outreach workers for those seeking a listening ear, a referral, clothing, a blanket, or just a welcoming presence; maintenance of a quiet, sacred space for prayer, sleep, or meditation; availability of clean, safe restrooms, weekly chair massages offered in collaboration with the Care Through Touch Institute, free haircuts, assistance with housing placement, and assistance with resumes for those seeking to reenter the workforce.
The Gubbio Project is named for an Italian town where, according to legend, St. Francis negotiated a peace agreement between frightened townsfolk and a hungry wolf. Francis brokered a deal between the two parties in conflict by recognizing that with communication they could find common ground. In the Tenderloin, working poor people live next to desperately poor people and sometimes misunderstandings and conflicts occur. The Gubbio Project is a creative response to this situation--helping housed parishioners and visitors of the church connect with their unhoused neighbors. The Gubbio Project believes that by creating opportunities for these two groups to interact and care for each other's needs, the Tenderloin neighborhood will be strengthened.
- Laura Slattery
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