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Chaplaincy Everywhere

In the world in which we live, spiritual care has become a luxury, like a designer handbag, or gym membership. Spiritual care might be on offer in places where revenue streams fund professional chaplains as a member of the careteam, like large hospital systems, state prisons, or the military. But few, if any, spiritual care resources exist within ecologies of care for the unhoused, behavior and mental healthcare, or addiction treatment. And yet any experienced chaplain will tell you how spiritual care is vital for positive treatment outcomes.


The Center for Lay Chaplaincy has initiated a collaboration with Housing Works to develop a model of chaplaincy for unhoused contexts and supportive housing projects. Housing Works is a nonprofit based in Los Angeles that offers housing and service options with respect and dignity. They see housing as only a first step and they commit to walk alongside participants for “as long as it takes” to ensure stability and community integration. You can learn more about their work here: https://www.housingworksca.org/


This fall I’m spending time at several Housing Work sites in Los Angeles to build relationships and to explore how chaplaincy might take shape in these spaces. I’m excited about this collaboration and even in these early stages, it’s abundantly clear there are ample opportunities for lay chaplains to provide a supportive listening presence to both professional staff and participants.


There are several ways for you to support this emerging collaboration. Each month, we play BINGO at a Housing Works supportive housing site. It’s a great community building time and the Bingo prizes are hygiene products, which are much needed by those living at the site. CFLC has an Amazon Wish List (Click Here) of supplies to help support this effort. Please consider making a regular donation.


If you are interested in or even curious about chaplaincy with the unhoused, please sign up for one of our monthly information sessions to see how you can train to become a lay chaplain.


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