Church Turns Pews Into Sleeping Places For Homeless

Behind the doors of All Saints Episcopal Church in Highland Park, many who have found themselves without a home, without family, or without a bed have come for warmth and the safety of sleeping on the pews.

Ruben Reyna has been sleeping at the church for several weeks. He spent some of his childhood on the street.

"We were homeless, we were homeless throughout school," he says.

He says that without the kindness of the church, Christmas would be a terrible experience.

"We'd be alone, we'd be alone without the connectivity, without the warm, without the food," he says.

A story echoed through the pulpit, where pews will become a warm place to sleep.

Among them are an elderly woman, evicted from her home in Pasadena with no family, and Elizabeth Montecino, who was evicted 11 months ago after medical problems.

"We'd be sleeping in the park, we'd have nowhere to go, nobody to turn to," she says, grateful for the space the church has provided.

Her 28-year-old son has stuck by her side, also sleeping in the church while working at a 99 cent store for minimum wage. But $15,000 dollars a year is not nearly enough for two people to live.

"We cry with each other and pray, we just build each other up, that's all we can do for each other. Always make sure his uniform is clean," Montecino says.

On this Christmas Eve, Reverend Clark Prescott is offering prayers and comfort, and a safe place to sleep. He is inspiring this community to help, not just for a Christmas program, but one that lasts, throughout the year.

The reverend says they have received donations from all faiths. The pews are open to sleeping, through the winter months, but homeless assistance goes all year.

If you are interested in helping the church’s program, visit the website here.

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