Christ Church Portola Valley & Woodside will be able to increase support to their unhoused neighbors with their Spring Linen Drive.
Christ Church Portola Valley & Woodside Linen Drive recipients
"We are so grateful to Episcopal Impact Fund for the grant. I can’t begin to tell you how important this program is to our congregation and community and what a huge impact it is having in the lives of those who are affected by housing insecurity." —Kathy Kennedy, Program Director, Christ Church Portola Valley & Woodside
Christ Church Portola Valley & Woodside (Christ Church) is a congregation committed to supporting their newly housed neighbors transitioning out of homelessness.
The Christ Church Linen Drive story starts like many congregational outreach efforts – seeing a need and wanting to help. What makes their story so special is how they decided to bite off more than they could chew and in so doing turned a once-a-year drive into a year-round program.
It all started when an unhoused family that Christ Church had been supporting finally received permanent housing. It was a life-changing, big step for the family. But on move-in day, Paula, the mother, called in tears because she had no blankets for her two little girls. Of course, Christ Church provided blankets and linens for the family but that made them think, ‘Do any of the other organizations we support have a similar need?’
So, they called their partner organization, LifeMoves, a non-profit that provides interim housing and support services in Silicon Valley. LifeMoves said yes to linens but on a scale that made Christ Church gulp (and gulp again).
For those transitioning out of homelessness or aging out of the foster care system, even the simplest of household goods are unaffordable. While these may seem like small items, they are fundamental to making supportive housing into a real home and and increases confidence, a sense of security, and family stability for children, youth and families.
Christ Church started small with a Towel Drive in support of 50 families. But seeing the 'gulp inducing' greater need, they increased their commitment with a Fall Linen Drive (blankets, sheets, pillows, and towels) in support of more than 90 families across 7 shelters. Empowered by the success of the program, Christ Church wanted to do even more. In 2023, thanks to a grant from Episcopal Impact Fund, Christ Church will add a Spring Linen Drive to meet more of the year-round needs of LifeMoves. Their goal is for each family – while they are living in the shelter and transitioning – to have the gift of new linens from their neighbors as they make their house into a home.
"Being able to say to our unhoused neighbors, 'some members of the community wanted you to have this,' is a true gift." —Sarah Fields, Director of Community Engagement, LifeMoves
Christ Church's devotion is seen in their ongoing commitment to growing their Linen Drive program to meet a year-round need of their newly housed neighbors. Episcopal Impact Fund is proud to partner with Christ Church Portola Valley Woodside as they help turn houses into homes and increase family stability.