This year St Peter’s United Church of Christ (UCC) of Elmhurst, Illinois has taken action against homelessness in both DuPage County and beyond. Back in February- Twenty (28) members of St. Peter’s traveled to Macon, Georgia. The St. Peter’s Mission Team worked with the Fuller Center for Housing www.fullercenter.org
) to transform a bank foreclosed house into a home for a local Macon family.
The Fuller Center for Housing is a non-profit, ecumenical Christian housing ministry dedicated to eliminating poverty housing worldwide. By forming partnerships with local organizations, The Fuller Center provides the structure, guidance, and support that communities need to build and repair homes for the impoverished among them.
To work against homelessness here in DuPage County, St. Peter’s is working with Bridge Communities. to help a homeless family complete a transition plan towards residence in a home. Three St Peter’s members work as mentors to this family by providing guidance and support as they work through the Bridge program. St Peter’s hopes to work with a Bridge Communities family for many years to come.
Bob Walgen and Mark Milligan formed Bridge Communities in 1988 with the idea of developing a transition path for homeless families to self-sufficiency. The concept was to partner with faith-based and community action groups and businesses to provide mentoring, housing, and supportive services. Needless to say, it was met with skepticism at the time, but now 28 years later Bridge Communities has become a regional and national leader in serving to needs of homeless families.
For many years, St. Peter’s has worked with the DuPage Public Action to Deliver Shelter (PAD’s) (http://dupagepads.org/
) organization. In partnership with Elmhurst Presbyterian Church- St. Peter’s UCC and other Elmhurst churches provide staffing, food and support to help in the effort to reduce the DuPage County Homeless problem. DuPage PADs, founded in 1985, is the County’s largest provider of interim and permanent housing to help individuals work toward becoming self-sufficient.
St. Peter’s United Church of Christ has a long-standing close affiliation with Elmhurst College. Many of the same people that created Elmhurst College helped organize St. Peter’s. The organizers of St. Peter’s first met May 21, 1876, making it the oldest Protestant congregation in Elmhurst.