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Interfaith Shelter starting in January

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The Clairemont branch of the San Diego Interfaith Shelter (IFS) program will begin on January 11, 2020 at St. David’s Episcopal Church.

IFS is a rotational shelter program which relies on communities’ church resources to provide a safe place for San Diego’s homeless to find shelter and food during the winter months while searching for work. The IFS is a program of the Ecumenical Council of San Diego and is supported by the City and County of San Diego. The guests are carefully screened by professional social workers and pursue an individual development plan. The result is the guests of IFS shelters have a very good chance of becoming part of the mainstream community.

I’m pleased to be part of CLC’s long history of supporting this program. I was directly involved last year and observed firsthand the success for our congregation’s participants and guests. Our guests became employed and all moved to permanent housing by the end of the Clairemont rotation.

We will not be able to host on-site at CLC this year due to our much-anticipated building project. But this important work still goes on and we will be a part of it. Arrangements have been made for us to host at Our Mother of Confidence (OMC) Roman Catholic Church (3131Govenor Drive). OMC has been long-term partners with CLC in supporting the IFS rotation and used our facility to provide two weeks of staffing for many years due to the unavailability of shower facilities at their church. This year OMC has completed the installation of permanent onsite showers. They graciously offered us their facility to staff (cooking teams and over-night chaperones) to host a maximum of 12 guests from 25 Jan – 08 Feb 2020.

We will continue to be supported for our two weeks by our long-standing partner congregations of Northminster Presbyterian Church and University City United Church of Christ (UCUCC).
We will begin sign up for the Chaperone and Food Preparation efforts December 29th, 2019. I will be available to answer questions and provide general information. We continue to find it difficult to fill the chaperone requirements so please carefully consider supporting the chaperone effort. If you would like to try supporting our rotation as a staff volunteer this year, please do not hesitate to contact me if you have questions or concerns. I’m available by email at

NEW THIS YEAR: The Clairemont Branch of IFS identified a need to have funds available to aid guests with transition to more permanent housing, such as deposits, or hotel stays during gaps between the shelter closing and move in dates to their new housing. This proved successful with a family last year, and will now become an annual effort.  

The way it is envisioned to work is each church is pledging an amount they can make available as the need arises. Funds will not be called unless they are needed. The coordination/validation of need will be the case workers and IFS staff (not volunteers). Our goal is to raise $1,000.00 to pledge.
Our success extends from our entire congregation, from volunteers who directly prepare food, chaperone, and provide supporting services (donations of linen, blankets, toiletries, quarters for the laundry, etc.) If you are able to contribute to the fund please mark a pew envelope with IFS Family. This will ensure that should the need arise the funds are available to help a family.

We’re making a difference by living our faith and sharing the CLC’s vision. Many thanks to everyone for making our participation in this program possible.