Hunger and Homelessness
The Hunger and Homelessness Mission Action Community (MAC) seeks to connect with non-profit ministries dealing with hunger and homelessness in the metro area of Pittsburgh. They recruit volunteers for the events and ministries which serve to feed and house those in need in Pittsburgh.
Ministries which the Hunger and Homelessness MAC currently supports and some ways in which Shadyside Presbyterian Church members have volunteered:
Bethlehem Haven is a non-profit organization that provides a number of services to women in the Pittsburgh area, including an emergency shelter, transitional housing, medical services, and employment services.
Shadyside members serve dinner once per month at the shelter and collect food donations to aid in Bethlehem Haven’s service to the community.
EECM is a ministry in the East Liberty neighborhood that provides services for people and families in need. For those who are hungry, EECM provides Meals on Wheels, a food pantry, and a soup kitchen. For those who are homeless, EECM provides single-night housing, transitional housing, and specialized housing for those who are mentally ill and those with special needs.
The Hunger and Homelessness MAC holds a quarterly food drive for the EECM food pantry and serves monthly meals at the EECM Emergency Shelter. Some Shadyside members also participate in the Meals on Wheels program.
Garfield Community Farm seeks to learn, teach, and practice organic gardening and farming in the places that have been neglected and abandoned in and with the neighborhood of Garfield. Neighborhood interns, volunteers from local churches and neighborhood groups, and GCF’s small staff helped the Farm have its first successful growing season in 2009. The farm has expanded substantially since that time and now includes a permanent bioshelter structure.
Shadyside volunteers help to prepare the soil, plant and harvest crops, build fences and greenhouses, and distribute produce to community members. The farm is a great place to learn since they are constantly trying new organic farming techniques to grow and protect the crops. No prior experience required.
The Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank (GPCFB) literally distributes tons of food each month to low-income neighborhoods around the city. Before food reaches the homes of families in need, it is touched by the hands of many volunteers. (Only twenty-five percent of all food is handled by paid employees of the food bank.) Without the assistance of community volunteers, most of the food would go to waste before it ever reached those who need it most.
Shadyside provides volunteers for the food distribution efforts of GPCFB.
OHM is a ministry of four churches located in Garfield and East Liberty committed to promoting justice and equality through homeownership. OHM helps to revitalize the community by converting abandoned properties into safe and energy-efficient homes. OHM also helps first-time homeowners to develop the skills which will lead them to financial stability and strength, and continues in relationship with these families long after they move in.
Shadyside volunteers help to renovate these homes, doing everything from demolition at the start of the project to painting at the end. No prior experience required. There are also opportunities to participate in the client care teams which walk alongside the families as they prepare for homeownership and beyond.