For 20 plus years I-HELP (Interfaith Homeless Emergency Lodging Program) has been serving the Monterey Peninsula. The Carmel Mission is one of many faith communities which provides lodging overnight, meals, and compassionate hospitality to homeless men.
Each evening I-HELP transports single homeless men from a central Monterey pick-up point and takes them to the hosting faith community where they spend the night. When they arrive at that night’s site, they are greeted by members of our parish. As soon as the bus is unloaded of sleeping mats, sleeping bags, and duffel bags the men are treated to a home-cooked meal. Most importantly our volunteers serve them food, but also sit down at the table with them and have a conversation. We may find out about their struggles, but also their successes: getting a job, getting medical help, reaching out to family, or learning a new skill.
The volunteers leave early with their casseroles clean (the men do all the clean-up), and the men watch a movie, read, look through clothing donations, and go to bed early. They sleep on the Crespi Hall floor with a night monitor there at all times.
The wakeup call is at 5:00 am when they eat a cold breakfast, gather up their belongings, and clean the hall. We arrive at 6:00 am to hand out a bag lunch for them to take with them when the bus comes at 6:30 am. This scenario is repeated every night at a different church and each church does it monthly. We are always looking for more volunteers! Families are welcome!
For more information please call Dave & Wendy Banks at 831-624-0317. We thank you!