At this week’s Realtor Roundtable meeting, we were joined by Street Life Ministries Executive Director and Pastor, David Shearin. Street Life Ministries is a community-based, non-profit organization that serves the homeless and at-risk populations of the Mid-Peninsula. They work tirelessly to establish environments and build relationships where community volunteers can provide food and clothing, as well as referrals for shelter, addiction recovery, and other personal support.
We try to check in with David about once a year to discuss homelessness in our community, the work SLM is doing to lend aid, and opportunities for others help. This was the first time we’ve had a chance to speak since the pandemic started, and needless to say, conditions have changed quite a bit over the past year.
Since March of last year, David has seen the homeless population in the mid-peninsula balloon. This, of course, has a lot to do with the loss of jobs that came with widespread shutdowns, but it was also made worse by the release of a large number of inmates from our local jails in an effort the prevent the spread of the coronavirus. With no place to go, and no great chances of finding work, many of these inmates went straight to living on the streets.
With the number of homeless growing at such an alarming rate, it is becoming increasingly difficult for Street Life Ministries, and other nonprofits that provide aid the homeless, to keep up with the demand for their services. SLM serves free meals to the homeless 5 days a week locally, and David says the lines are getting longer every day. Their ability to provide 1 on 1 services also dwindles as demand continues to grow.
While the growing homeless population has certainly put stress on non-profits like SLM, there is some reason for optimism. According to David, SLM will soon begin administering doses of the COVID vaccine to the homeless. And as more and more people become vaccinated and businesses continue to open back up, there is hope that more jobs will become available to those in need. Still, there is lots of work to be done, and even if/when we manage to put the pandemic in the rear view mirror, there will always be homeless in need of help and services.
If you are in a position where you can offer support, we highly encourage that you make a donation to Street Life Ministries. They work they do is vitally important to the most at-risk in our community, and even more so now during a deadly pandemic. To learn about ways to donate, head to: streetlifeministries.org/donate
Thank you for joining us, David! As always, we are tremendously grateful for the work you do in our community.