(COLORADO SPRINGS) — Bright and early on Sunday morning, a line wrapper around the parking lot of The Sanctuary Church with people all of ages in need of hot food and a hot shower. Every week, a group of volunteers comes out to help serve the homeless community and ensure they have some of the basic necessities.
“Every Sunday morning, we have a whole heap of beautiful things that happen,” one of the pastors at The Sanctuary Church, Tyler Hill, said. “We have this project called Shower to the People, where every Sunday morning we give out about 50 warm showers to folks who need it. We also have the Raggamuffin Cafe where we cruised through about 250 to 300 warm meals every Sunday morning for whoever needs it.”
These services allow these individuals to feel nourished while also connecting with volunteers to discuss their situation and needs.
“The heart behind everything we do here is dignity,” Hill said. “We want to honor the humanity of every person that’s in our community, and for us, showers are really one of the first pieces to that.”
One individual waiting in line was Amy Goldsbury who smiled in sharing she took a twenty-minute shower, “I feel human again. I have dignity again, pride. It’s a big thing being out here, you have to have some sort of sensibility about yourself, and having a shower makes all the difference.”
Upon arrival, each person had to put their name on a list and wait for it to be called. Once the shower was ready, they were handed a clean towel along with toiletries.
“For folks who are often overlooked by people in their community, our aim is to respect, honor, and elevate the humanity of everyone we come into contact with,” said Hill.
For those who wanted a home-cooked meal, they were greeted by smiling volunteers who were serving breakfast tacos along with a variety of other foods.
“Before we try to do anything else, we want to make sure people feel clean, are clean, and are fed and that’s where it all starts for us,” said Hill.
The room was packed with people eating the warm meal and the sound of a guitar played for all to enjoy.
“It can’t be beat and it’s for free,” Goldsbury said. They also have free clothing and giveaway inside and just easy going and also when it gets too cold, they open up their doors here for overnight shelter, and you know what? You just feel like you’re at home here.”
Hill reflected on what makes these resources so special, which comes from the relationship formed by both the volunteers and the individuals who come each week.
“Part of the reason the line is so long is because we know people’s names, we know their stories, we know where they live, we know who they are,” Hill said. “So why is the line so long? It’s because we’re friends of the poor. We don’t just serve the poor and that’s much of the heart of what we do here at the sanctuary.”
In turn, Goldsbury shared her appreciation towards the staff and the positive impact this has on her life.
“The staff here is awesome and they have treated us with nothing but kindness and generosity and anything they need, all they have to do is ask and I will do whatever they need,” said Goldsbury.
The whole morning is made possible thanks to volunteers who are dedicating their time to helping others and bringing kindness into Southern Colorado.
“We want people to know the poor and be friends of the poor,” Hill said. “Come on through, serve some food, help us facilitate showers. We also are in deep need of some financial help. The sewers underneath the parking lot here that help us with the showers are on the fritz and we’re desperately trying to raise money to make that happen, as well as trying to cover our food budget every month.”
You can go online to donate and if you are looking to volunteer you can directly contact Pastor C at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The clothes available are thanks to Amber’s Closet which is also looking for donations specifically boots, thermal underwear, and coats.