First Presbyterian Church was one of the original hosts of Abraham’s Tent in 2009, when the men from Columbus House first spent a week with us. Over the years more hosts have come forward, and the men have been housed for longer—last year for 20 weeks. Most of our church members have participated. But now that we’re comfortable with Abraham’s Tent, God has called us to make a radical change in our approach.
Chronic homelessness has sharply decreased in Connecticut over the last few years, as detailed by the Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness, and Connecticut is on track to eliminate chronic homelessness in the state by the end of 2016. Excellent news! In addition, the men of the 2015 Abraham’s Tent, when consulted, felt that the program was simply too long, and the incremental stress of moving every week for 20 weeks, too great. As a result, in 2016 the program will run for twelve weeks, and we will share responsibility for the week of February 22nd with First and Summerfield Methodist Church on the Green, a small congregation with a large building. The men will be housed there, and we will have a wonderful opportunity to get to know not just them, but the members of First and Summerfield and the participating Yale students as well. Please mark your calendars for this important week.