On a rotating basis, each of these churches serves for one week at a time in addressing the needs of those who “walk-in” seeking assistance. The needs presented are many: emergency food, prescription medication, shelter, transportation to medical appointments or employment, aid in applying for all manner of governmentally supported social programs, eye glasses, etc.
In a typical week, the church on duty will see approximately 75 clients. Costs for the ministry beyond in-kind gifts are borne by each congregation with some small assistance from the Ministerium. Congregation members usually provide non-perishable food items and toiletries on a regular basis. The “walk-in” ministry of our downtown churches is the only such social service provided in downtown Pittsburgh.
The demands placed on the churches have increased in recent years. With cut-backs in governmental social programs, a greater and greater burden falls on the religious community.
The Downtown Ministerium is grateful to generous individuals and a small number of organizations for their support of this social ministry. Gifts to the Ministerium are shared equally with the five congregations which provide the “walk in” ministry.
A client entering any participating church is referred to the church on duty that particular week.