Community is a word that carries a lot of tradition in the Mennonite Church.
While we hold many of those traditional values in high regard,
we also seek to explore what community means in our urban context.
Vision in Action
The development of Community Ministry at Seattle Mennonite Church is an outgrowth of SMC’s vision for peace and justice as followers of Jesus Christ. SMC understands that a neighborhood’s response to people experiencing the trauma of homelessness, is exactly that, a corporate, collaborative response. To that end SMC seeks to partner with local residents, businesses, and agencies in generating a grassroots, person-centered effort to companion people who are experiencing homelessness.
As Seattle Mennonite sought to be faithful to what God had set before us, we initiated fellowship meals with people experiencing homelessness in the neighborhood. The congregation had been getting to know this group of folks already, as the church was preparing bag lunches for day laborers and offering showers and laundry for those day laborers who had no other place to clean up after a days work. Out of those early days of breaking bread with each other, there came a call for personal storage and transportation support. The response was the initiative Stop, Drop, and Roll (SDR). SDR’s goal was to provide storage of belongings and transportation to allow community members access to critically needed services and employment opportunities not available in Lake City. SDR was open on Thursdays in the church foyer. In 2008, we moved Stop, Drop and Roll into a nearby house owned by Seattle Mennonite Church. The community who gathered in that space named it “God’s Li’l Acre”.
Our Present & Future
“God’s Li’l Acre” Day Center, currently located at 12521 33rd Ave NE, includes daily drop-in hours during which time people can access: laundry facilities, showers and hygiene, community kitchen, internet and phone, resource referral, food closet, nursing care, personal storage, blankets and clothes, and a safe, secure place to just ‘be’.
- 9am – 4pm – M/W/Th/Fr (closed from 12pm – 1pm for cleaning)
- 9am – 12pm – Tuesday
- Women Only: 1 – 4pm – Tuesday
Contact: Kathryn, GLA Program Director, if interested in volunteering or donating to the drop-in. firstname.lastname@example.org
Our hope over time is that programming will be added to the core drop-in schedule that will support the rebuilding of relationships of support and trust so needed by people experiencing homelessness. Towards that end, SMC worked towards the establishment of a new non-profit, Lake City Partners Ending Homelessness. This non-profit organization has been able to apply for public funds in support of expanded hours of programming at the drop-in and offering overnight shelter services.
- Shelter: On April 1, 2021 Lake City Partners opened a new 24/7 enhanced shelter in Shoreline WA, located at 16357 Aurora Ave N. This shelter, in a repurposed nursing home known as The Oaks, has the capacity to have 60 people (couples and individuals) in supportive shelter, with case management, healthy meals and private rooms. We are grateful for the partnership of King County and the North Cities in making a pathway for this needed resource.
- Meals: Seattle Mennonite started weekly community meals, which are now coordinated and hosted at Lamb of God Lutheran Church, located at 12509 27th Ave NE. Thanks to the interfaith support of local faith communities, these meals are provided every Sunday at 5:30pm
- Collaborating: The Lake City Task Force on Homelessness gathers each month (2nd Friday, 3:30 – 5:00pm) at the Seattle Mennonite Church, to share insights and efforts on ways to address the concerns of homelessness in the Lake City neighborhood. Goals include information sharing, winter shelter coordination, strategizing, visioning, inviting participation, and collaborating.
Volunteering & Support
- National Coalition for the Homeless
- National Health Care for the Homeless Council
- Congregations for the Homeless (Bellevue, WA)
- Mennonite Central Committee British Columbia Housing
- Church Council of Greater Seattle
- Homelessness Resource Center
- American Addiction Centers
Our Community Ministry is grateful to be supported by United Way of King County.