Temple Beth-El is one of thirteen Jersey City congregations that have opened their doors to provide safe, clean lodging for 4-5 homeless families. We are assigned four weeks during the year. During these days, volunteers provide dinner, company for the families in the evening and stay overnight in the Social Hall.
Here is what one volunteer said of her experience:
My school-age daughter and I welcomed the opportunity to spend an evening at the Temple, helping ease and normalize the mothers’ transition — from their complicated day out juggling their jobs and their kids (and doctors appointments) — into their communal evening meal and wind down. The pasta meal Tom’s wife prepared (with green beans and salad, and snacks) hit the spot for everyone. And the kids really appreciated playing with his daughter and my daughter.It was a valuable opportunity to remind ourselves of the huge challenges young women and men raising children on their own face, and how to most mindfully be with them.