Every day this San Francisco Church provides the homeless with blankets and 'sacred sleep' in its pews
via The Gubbio Project

Recent estimates show that there are around 550,00 people who are unhoused on any given night in America. A large percentage of those who find their way to shelters are helped by faith-based organizations.

Forty-one percent of the emergency shelter beds for adults and around 16% of those for families are provided by such groups.

For the past 15 years, the St. Boniface Catholic Church in San Francisco, California has taken The Bible's teachings to heart by alllowing the unhoused sleep in its pews as part of an outreach program called the Gubbio Project.


Every day around 225 unhoused people arrive at St. Boniface to get some much needed rest after a hard night on the streets. Many people experiencing homelessness go to sleep at sun up because it's safer for them to be awake during the night.

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Sleeping in public during the night leaves people vulnerable to being attacked or robbed. It's also easier for people without a home to keep warm at night when they are awake.

The church also provides important services for those expericing homeless by handing out about 150 blankets a month, 100 pairs of socks a week, and hygiene kits with soap, shampoo, razors, and toothbrushes on a daily basis.

There are few areas in the United States where the wealth gap is more prominent than in San Francisco and surrounding Bay Area.

"In one of the richest cities in the world, one that 75 billionaires call home, the fact that so many must go without heat, shelter or blankets is confounding," Shannon Eizenga, the nonprofit's new executive director, told the San Francisco Chronicle.

"The scale of the need is staggering. We are living in the midst of a humanitarian crisis. It does feel as though it's 'A Tale of Two Cities,' and this gap is increasing more every day," she continued.

RELATED: Everyone ignored this single mom with a flat tire until a homeless man arrived on the scene

The project relies on donations to keep its mission going and the church is currently struggling to fix a broken heating system.

"It's super cold in there, and we're in the coldest time of year," Eizenga said.

The project is run on a list of ten overriding principles, the most important being: "All people, especially those who are living on the streets or have mental health or substance abuse issues, are worthy of respect, dignity, and loving kindness."

via Gubbio Project / Facebook

The Rev. David Erickson of the Episcopal Church of St. Mary the Virgin, a volunteer with the project, belives the work Gubbio does perfectly aligns with his personal spiritual mission.

"We either get disgusted or numb," he said. "But this is a place where I experience grace deeply. The ability to look somebody in the eye and said, 'Can I help you, sir?' I had a gentleman say, 'You called me sir! I haven't been called sir in years!'"

"What they do here isn't going to solve the problem," he continued. "But it's going to do something for the problem right now."

You can donate to the Gubbio Project on its website.

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When a pet is admitted to a shelter it can be a traumatizing experience. Many are afraid of their new surroundings and are far from comfortable showing off their unique personalities. The problem is that's when many of them have their photos taken to appear in online searches.

Chewy, the pet retailer who has dedicated themselves to supporting shelters and rescues throughout the country, recognized the important work of a couple in Tampa, FL who have been taking professional photos of shelter pets to help get them adopted.

"If it's a photo of a scared animal, most people, subconsciously or even consciously, are going to skip over it," pet photographer Adam Goldberg says. "They can't visualize that dog in their home."

Adam realized the importance of quality shelter photos while working as a social media specialist for the Humane Society of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

"The photos were taken top-down so you couldn't see the size of the pet, and the flash would create these red eyes," he recalls. "Sometimes [volunteers] would shoot the photos through the chain-link fences."

That's why Adam and his wife, Mary, have spent much of their free time over the past five years photographing over 1,200 shelter animals to show off their unique personalities to potential adoptive families. The Goldbergs' wonderful work was recently profiled by Chewy in the video above entitled, "A Day in the Life of a Shelter Pet Photographer."

Vanna White appeared on "The Price Is Right" in 1980.

Vanna White has been a household name in the United States for decades, which is kind of hilarious when you consider how she gained her fame and fortune. Since 1982, the former model and actress has made millions walking back and forth turning letters (and later simply touching them—yay technology) on the game show "Wheel of Fortune."

That's it. Walking back and forth in a pretty evening gown, flipping letters and clapping for contestants. More on that job in a minute…

As a member of Gen X, television game shows like "Wheel of Fortune" and "The Price is Right" send me straight back to my childhood. Watching this clip from 1980 of Vanna White competing on "The Price is Right" two years before she started turning letters on "Wheel of Fortune" is like stepping into a time machine. Bob Barker's voice, the theme music, the sound effects—I swear I'm home from school sick, lying on the ugly flowered couch with my mom checking my forehead and bringing me Tang.

This video has it all: the early '80s hairstyles, a fresh-faced Vanna White and Bob Barker's casual sexism that would never in a million years fly today.

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