After preaching Sunday’s second church service at Capital Christian Church in Sacramento, California, Pastor Rick Cole left on a mission to live homeless for two weeks–or until he raises $300,000 for a local homeless service, Winter Sanctuary. He announced the plans to his congregation during weekend services at the church.
Pastor Rick told his congregation that he stopped shaving three days before going out on his journey. He described his experience picking up a light rail pass, and his anticipation of what he would encounter while living with the homeless.
He related his mission for his journey to a passage of the Bible out of 1 Thessalonians, saying, “warn those who are idle and disruptive,” and emphasized the importance of people in the church stepping up to help those individuals who are not idle or disruptive and are in need, “weak” and “disheartened.”
Pastor Rick also expressed being “really excited and really freaked out by the idea” of living homeless for up to two weeks.
“Winter Sanctuary is the only winter shelter option in our community supported entirely by the private sector,” according to a 2012-2013 Winter Sanctuary Community Report. The majority of those that use the Winter Sanctuary program are between the ages of 25 and 61. Costs are approximately $11 for each person served per night, according to the report.
Proceeds raised through the venture will go to benefit a program called Winter Sanctuary, self-described as “a seasonal emergency-shelter program for homeless men and women provided by Sacramento Steps Forward, Volunteers of America and members of the faith community.”
The campaign to raise the $300,000 is being organized by Sacramento Steps Forward. Pastor Rick Cole is listed as the top advocate for the campaign, with over $23,000 of the almost $25,000 raised so far being donated through the pastor’s fundraising, as noted at the time of this report.
Sacramento Steps Forward was awarded grant money from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and through Sacramento’s Continuum of Care Program, totaling $14,439,365, as announced by SSF in March of 2013. The amount, which is reportedly renewable, will go to 27 local homeless housing and service programs in Sacramento City and County.