San Francisco Program Reduces Sleeping Time for Homeless Program

HNP Communications Franciscan World

SAN FRANCISCO — A program that allows homeless to sleep during the day in a church here is being reduced in hours, because of lack of funding, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

The program, started by Louis Vitale, OFM, at St. Boniface Church, permitted homeless men and women to sleep in the church pews from 7 a.m. until 4 p.m. Many of these homeless people are too afraid to use homeless shelters, and so they would stay awake all night and then sleep in the church. The parishioners would attend the noontime Mass, even though many times the rear two-thirds of the pews would be occupied by the homeless engaged in what they call “Sacred Sleep.”

As of Oct. 16, the sleeping hours are being cut from 8 a.m. until noon because of a lack of funding, reports the San Francisco Chronicle. The paper quotes John Weeks, the interim director of the neighborhood center associated with St. Boniface, as saying, “Whatever we’re getting in just isn’t sufficient to keep the doors open until 4 o’clock.”