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Faith leaders invited to free training on responding to homelessness

April 17, 2015

Religious congregation leaders are invited to “Responding to Homelessness on Our Doorsteps,” a free training April 30 from 9 a.m.-noon in the St. Francis Room at St. Mary’s Cathedral.

Sponsored by the San Francisco Interfaith Council, the program will be presented by the San Francisco mayor’s office of Housing Opportunity, Partnerships & Engagement as an update to a conference held for religious congregations at the cathedral in 2013.

“This is really a match between the resources that are available and the congregation leaders who are on the front lines,” said Michael Pappas, executive director of the interfaith council. “The training will impart to the congregations leaders a strategy they can employ in response to the homeless they find at their doors.”

The training comes at a time when the city has opened a Navigation Center equipped to temporarily house entire encampments of the homeless and help guide people toward permanent housing. The center opened in March at 16th and Mission streets.

Pappas said homelessness is a chronic problem faced by religious congregations in the city and has been amplified by income inequality.

“This a challenge that clergy have across the gamut of faiths,” Pappas said.

The interfaith council operates the San Francisco Interfaith Winter Shelter, hosted by St. Mary’s Cathedral, St. Boniface Parish, St. Mark’s Lutheran Church and the First Unitarian Universalist Society.

Contact Cynthia Zamboukos at (415) 474-1321 or cynthiaz@sfinterfaithcouncil.org. Register at http://conta.cc/1P3G60r.

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