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

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

What is SHIP?

Self Help Interfaith Program (SHIP) is an ecumenical venture composed of 18 local churches that provide food, shelter, shower, and counseling for up to 8 homeless employable single adults. Guests are carefully screened, must be employable and are provided up to 60 days residency to find employment. Guests reside in a craftsman house located adjacent to Our Redeemer Lutheran church in Garden Grove.

Guests are held accountable for all of their time, spending, and actions. Upon finding employment they are held to rigorous budget and savings requirements with the intention to save as much money as possible within a 4-5 month period with a goal to become self-sufficient.

Guests are then transitioned into affordable housing. SHIP does not accept guests with disabilities.

Who are we?

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. SHIP is 100% volunteer. There are no paid staff.

The SHIP program rotates amongst local faith communities in Garden Grove, Fountain Valley, Huntington Beach, and Los Alamitos.

Who do we serve?

The SHIP serves homeless individuals who are capable of obtaining permanent, full-time employment within 30-60 days. Guests are vetted and must be substance-free for at least 30 days prior to admission into the SHIP.

They must also be capable of completing daily job search requirements, attending weekly counseling sessions in goal setting, budgeting, and preparing regular budgets throughout the program and conform to mandatory curfews and other rules designed to ensure safety and cooperation aboard the SHIP.

Guests share chores to maintain the facility. SHIP does not accept applicants with criminal records of violence, weapons, or abuse of minors. This is a highly structured, “tough love” program that is not appropriate for all homeless individuals. Our goal is not to care for our guests, but to train them to care for themselves and to provide for them during a four-month transition period.