For I was hungry and you gave me food,

I was thirsty and you gave me drink,

a stranger and you welcomed me…

Matthew 25:35

SHIP House Severely Damaged In Fire on Sat, Aug 27

Dear SHIP Supporters,

The Director and Personal Advisors of SHIP were devastated when we learned that the SHIP house was severely damaged by a fire which sent one firefighter to the hospital with burns. We were elated that Jim and Steven brought a delicious home-cooked dinner from a parishioner at St. Wilford's and that we could plan together in North Hall.

We found housing where six could stay at Motel 6 for several weeks. After that Beachpoint Church will host them for three weeks. Then in October there will be a desperate need for housing so that current guests can finish the program. Any ideas are welcome.

Despite the tears of seeing the back of our house in ruins, the guests really worked effectively as a team. A few lost all of their personal belongings, but they managed to smile as they made a quick emergency shop through Walmart to replace needed items they were unable to retrieve. They all want to graduate and be self-sufficient, productive members of society.

Most were at work when the house caught fire, and we hope that they will be able to finish the program so that their hard work does result in a better future. With your help and ideas we can navigate through this new situation, for it is strong people and God’s grace which provide at times like this. Please call with any ideas of how to house our six guests, and thank you for your continued support and ideas.

Best to all,

Jenny Braithwaite, Publicity, 714-290-2425

Sherrill Svalstad, Director, 714-401-5257

Self-Help Interfaith Program (SHIP) is an ecumenical venture composed of local faith communities that provide food, shelter, shower, and mentoring for up to 8 homeless single adults. Guests are carefully screened, must be employable and are provided up to four months residency to find employment, save money, and become self sufficient.

Guests reside in a craftsman house located adjacent to Our Redeemer Lutheran church in Garden Grove. Map

Keep us in your prayers and donations are especially welcomed. See Donation page for more info.

Who are we?

The SHIP program rotates amongst local faith communities in Garden Grove, Fountain Valley, Huntington Beach, and Los Alamitos. Although the majority of our volunteers are from local churches, there is no religious affiliation nor are there any religious requirements for our guests. However, this program evolved and revolves around the Church and our love and respect for God. Our host congregations value the program as a remarkable vehicle for community outreach.

The SHIP serves homeless individuals who are capable of obtaining permanent, full-time employment within 30 days. Guests are vetted and must be substance-free for at least 30 days prior to admission. Applicants with criminal records of violence, weapons, or abuse of minors are not accepted. Guests must also be capable of completing daily job search requirements, attend weekly counseling sessions in goal setting and conform to mandatory curfews and other rules designed to ensure safety and cooperation aboard the SHIP.

Guests share chores to maintain the facility. This is a highly structured, “tough love” program that is not appropriate for all individuals. Our goal is not to care for our guests, but to train them to care for themselves and to provide for them during their transition period to become self-sufficient.