The Bible offers encouragement that offering hospitality can be a holy experience.
“Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it” (Hebrews 13:2).
Each winter, Central opens its doors for Project Home - a program of Interfaith Action of Greater St. Paul, formerly known as the Saint Paul Area Council of Churches. For too many families of Ramsey County, the conditions of homelessness are the real and bad news in their lives. During the month of November, we serve as a homeless shelter, offering hospitality, compassion, and hope.
Most of our guests will be with us for the entire month of November. Both volunteers and guests report that familiarity and consistency lead to better experiences. So this year you might consider signing up for consecutive shifts or the same time slot each week. But we are grateful for all volunteers, whether you can sign up for one shift or more. Those who sign up will receive an email with updated instructions and information as your shift approaches.
Each night during this month long program, we seek help from host volunteers in two areas of help.
The work shift is from 8:00 p.m. to 7:30 a.m. (weekdays) or 9:30 a.m. (weekends). Overnight hosts are there as families settle in for the night, then go and sleep in their own private room. (Beds are provided; you simply bring your own sleeping bag or blankets and pillow). In the morning our overnight hosts prepare a light breakfast (and clean it up) and assist the Project Home staffers in seeing families off for school, work, or other activities. Your presence is primarily to answer any questions that may come up during the night. However, most families will be with Central for the entire month and will know the routine.
The work shift is from 5:30 - 8:30 p.m. The evening hosts meet up with Project Home staff members to welcome and assist our guests, read and play with children, converse with parents, and serve snacks.
Want to Volunteer?
Starting in October each year, we maintain an online schedule for volunteer sign ups. We have concluded Project Home for 2018, but will reopen in 2019 with a new volunteer signup.