September 2015
I was sleepy and you let me lay down.
-reflection by a Gubbio Staff member
"I want to be very clear. We can't find any social or moral justification, no justification whatsoever for lack of housing," Pope Francis said this on Thursday during his trip in the United States.  He was scheduled to have lunch with politicians after he spoke in Congress that morning; but he had other plans.  For lunch, the Pope ended up visiting a Catholic Charities organization called St. Maria's Meals; who was preparing to serve about 300 meals to the homeless community.   He has always shown compassion and love for our un-housed brothers and sisters.  And has backed up that compassion and love by not only opening the bathrooms of St. Peter's Square in Rome, but by also adding showers and providing haircuts at those bathrooms for people suffering from poverty and homelessness.  His new project is building a homeless shelter by the Vatican!  

At the Gubbio Project, we try to embody the message the Pope sent to the entire country on that Thursday.  To see the human dignity in every person who comes across our Project; no matter what struggles they might be experiencing.  To the Pope this means seeing God in everyone.  When addressing the injustice of homelessness Pope Francis stated "The son of God knew what it was to be a homeless person... What it was to start life without a roof over his head."  Sacred sleep is seeing someone who is tired and inviting them to sleep at our Project.  Not questioning why they are tired and reflecting on how we see ourselves in our guests.  The Pope reminded everyone of something very similar that Jesus Christ said when referring to helping people in need- "I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me."       

This article by the Huffington Post highlights the Pope's Thursday afternoon with Catholic Charities.  It also has dozens of pictures of the Pope's overall visit to this country.  I think if he were to see the article and look at the pictures, this one would be one of his favorites.                                        -Jose Lopez   
What's a Hand-out? Housing History
 By Evan Howard, former Gubbio Intern 

When it comes to housing everyone, fair housing advocates often find themselves drowned out by a sea of protest against "subsidies" and "hand outs" that can (and do) provide pathways to stable housing for many. What many don't realize (or turn a blind eye to) are the many ways in which the government already is heavily involved in subsidizing housing, one of the biggest "handouts" of all time.

Currently, the federal government is involved in housing in America to the tune of about $450 billion dollars a year (1), primarily through tax credits and loan guarantees. But this investment, since the 1930s when the Federal Housing Authority (FHA) and later the Veteran's Authority (VA) began to supply various subsidized rates for home ownership, has almost exclusively gone to white, middle class Americans. With intensive redlining (the defining of neighborhoods or zipcodes as unacceptable for loans), non-white Americans were routinely denied access to this pot of money, and the effects of redlining are still felt today (2). As such, an entire group of people were afforded what was once out of reach for most: property. This property rose in value over the decades, and has been passed down through ensuing generations. The massive subsidized suburban boon of 1945-1970 remains to this day one of the biggest governmental programs of all time.

While most homeowning Americans may have forgotten about these benefits (or those their parents received), today even that pales in comparison to the ways in which luxury developers are afforded massive tax breaks (3) in return for promises to provide affordable housing which often goes unfunded, underfunded, or is funded so as to continue to enforce segregation. This is certainly true in San Francisco, a city that feels the acuteness of housing stock shortage, and yet there is no equitable treatment of housing subsidies. 

So the next time someone says offering housing subsidies are not the business of government, or that they won't change the lives of those who need them the most, kindly ask them about their own mortgage, or their parent's. Maybe ask about the interest they can write off on their vacation home too (4). Only once our communities recognize how much they benefit from that $450 billion government subsidy can we begin to rationally discuss real solutions (5).

In This Issue
Evening of Comedy with W. Kamau Bell

Please join The Gubbio Project on December 3, 2015 for an evening with San Francisco-based socio-political comedian and community activist, W. Kamau Bell. Zendesk will be hosting the event and will provide beer, wine and appetizers. There will be a raffle and music by DJ Cuba and D8. 
All proceeds benefit The Gubbio Project. 
December 3rd, 2015
Doors open at 7:00pm, reception & music with DJ Cuba and D8
Program begins at 8pm

Purchase your ticket here!

C haplaincy Partnership with St. Francis Memorial Hospital

Gubbio is excited about a new partnership with St. Francis Memorial Hospital in which we will host a chaplaincy student, Laurie, with two other community partner organizations- The Faithful Fools and St. Francis Living Room. The new chaplain will be earning clinical pastoral education hours on the streets as well as in the hospital. 

Volunteer Spotlight 

~ Luz Francisco~

Luz has been a parishioner of St. Boniface for 4 years and has been a volunteer with us for 2 years! Attending daily mass she started meeting and getting to know guests of the Project right away. Luz explained "I heard the word of God and wanted to help.  People would always ask me to pray with them and for them.  One guest asked me to pray they find a job; one day they stopped coming and I never saw them again. I hope he got a job. I love everyone here, and they all love me."  
Thank you for all that you do for The Gubbio Project!
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