Interfaith Homeless Emergency Lodging Program
The I-HELP program in Monterey County helps men who are clean and sober but “down on their luck”and find themselves without housing, food and other material things. These homeless men find hospitality, shelter, and a hot meal within the interfaith community of Monterey.
St. Dunstan’s is only one of several dozen congregations supporting this program. We host men on the third Thursday of each month providing a hot dinner and breakfast and a place to sleep. There are usually anywhere from twenty to twenty-five men. Our dinners focus on a hearty meal – some meat, vegetables, salad, rolls and dessert. The breakfast bag includes a muffin, a piece of fruit, a hardboiled egg, a nutrition bar and some juice. Our team assembles around 4:00pm and after cooking and serving dinner, the I-HELP men do the clean-up.
The point of the program is to help tide the men over as they look for employment and housing. We rejoice with them when news comes that someone has found work or housing and has moved on. Our reward is the smiles we see and the words of gratitude we hear. Last year we served over 600 meals.
I-Help for Women
I-Help for Women is a new ministry on the Monterey Peninsula and falls under the umbrella of the I-Help for Men program. It started mid-November and St. Dunstan’s is now providing food and lodging for homeless women on the third Saturday of each month. The women are picked up in Monterey and transported in a van to St. Dunstan’s. They are vetted by the I-Help supervisor to be sure they are clean and sober, and accompanied by a Night Monitor who spends the night with them.