Church Under the Bridge doubles the love for the homeless in the pandemicBookmark this
You may have heard some chatter about the pandemic impacting the marginalized in our community. It is real. Church Under the Bridge (CUB) provides for the practical and spiritual needs of the homeless population in our city. They have seen a dramatic increase in the numbers and needs of those they serve. Read on to see how they are responding and the ways you can support their efforts.
You have to love Isaiah 43:19, “For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.” The whole world is experiencing this new thing; a new way of life, changing daily in the face of this pandemic. The second half of the verse is exhilarating as He declares that He will carve out a path in the face of this wilderness and bring new living waters in this dry land.
In the midst of it all though, God calms the fear, surrounds us with hope and provides more than we need. That is exactly what He has done for Church Under the Bridge. The church has always been a place where the broken and hungry can find the love of Jesus and food for their spirit, soul, and body. It is no different in this pandemic. Those precious gifts can still be found at Church Under the Bridge, but now, instead of three nights a week, we are open and serving the homeless seven nights a week. Hot meals are served five of the evenings by CUB and their partners. Friday night meals are provided through a joint effort of My Father’s House Worldwide and Broken Warriors Angels, two non-profits from San Antonio. Saturday is blessed by Taking It To The Streets, a non-profit from Boerne, Texas. It’s simple! If you need a good dinner meal, you show up at the gate of Church Under the Bridge between 6:00-7:00 p.m. and you get one … and more!
During the week, snack bags are added to the meal to extend the food available beyond just dinner. Snack bags are usually filled with individually wrapped, non-perishable items like chips, granola bars, fruit snacks and crackers, to name a few. Fresh fruit like bananas and oranges are often donated, which is a treat to those who have eaten plenty of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches already that week. Bottles of water are provided daily and Gatorade is added twice a week. The water and Gatorade are gifts from yet another nonprofit, Among the Broken, long-time partners with CUB.
In addition, support for local food businesses has been generated as restaurants are asked to cater some of the meals. This offers nights free from cooking while bringing revenue to some of San Antonio’s best eateries!
To support the CDC policies for protection, CUB not only adheres to the physical distancing and PPE requirements while preparing meals, we also offer support to the men and women who come seeking food by providing masks and gloves as needed. Several forms of hygiene kits are also available: shower kits offer shampoo, conditioner, body wash and lotion, for those who plan to take advantage of showers offered five days a week at the Christian Assistance Ministry city hub. If you need oral hygiene kits with toothpaste, toothbrushes and dental floss, or if women are in need of feminine hygiene items, they’re available upon request. Early in April, CUB also handed out nearly 100 sleeping bags, compliments of Community Bible Church Bulverde, to those living on the streets to help with the nights that are still a little cold. “Hope is found in meeting their basic human needs with a smile and a reminder that God loves them.” says Dianne Talbert, Director of Church Under the Bridge.
Although meals are primarily geared to feed the unsheltered population of San Antonio, there are many experiencing food insecurities. “We won’t turn anyone away if they come to our gates during the dinner hours. We know times are a little challenging right now and as long as we have food, we will provide it!” says Dianne. We were also given nearly 100 gallon bags of dog food by Hope 4 Hounds which is a unique service no one else provides. We know their animals are very special to them so we want to be sure they are taken care of as well.
“No one knows how long we will be in this current posture. Sustaining what we are currently offering the homeless will be critical until they are able to seek help through shelters and other programs that are temporarily unavailable,” says Dianne. If anyone is interested in supporting CUB through monetary or in-kind donations, or if a group would like to sponsor and serve a meal, they can email email@example.com. "Every day we see the wonderful ways God is equipping this ministry and we are grateful that His grace is sufficient!”
It is time for the Church to rise up. Come on Holy Spirit, call out your people and empower them to serve the least of these with all of their hearts.
Be A Light
Prayer. The staff’s and volunteer hours have more than doubled since the onset of the pandemic. Pray for supernatural strength! Please pray for discernment and wisdom as they meet the needs of the homeless in our community. Pray for God to personally touch the homeless population and that many will come to Christ! Hygiene kits. Travel size shampoo, conditioner, body wash and lotion are needed for each hygiene kit they distribute. You can purchase these items (and more) by visiting http://www.dollardays.com. Items for snack bags. Keeping up with nearly 1000 individually wrapped items a week is challenging. CUB needs individually wrapped snacks or desserts (chips, crackers, cookies, cakes, nuts, fruit snacks, etc. Give. Your financial gift is desperately needed at this crucial time. Pray about a one-time or monthly gift to support the efforts of CUB. Visit their website to send your financial gift.
724 Chestnut Street San Antonio, TX 78202