During Holy Week St. Stephen's welcomed 15-20 homeless men and women each night, guests of the Emergency Shelter Partnership (ESP). Although St. Stephen's was the physical location of this shelter, we did this in full partnership with four other houses of worship in Armonk: Hillside Church, Congregation B'Nai Yisrael and St. Nersess Armenian Seminary.
Through the coldest months of the year, ESP coordinates with local houses of worship to volunteer for a week-long period where ESP's guests can have dinner, sleep, breakfast and a brown-bag lunch. Founded by Mel Berger over thirteen years ago, as a response to homeless people dying of cold exposure, this vital program has saved lives in northern Westchester and offers hospitality and dignity to those who are suffering. As the card from one of our guests this week says, ESP makes a difficult situation a bit more tolerable. Not only that, but our volunteers, including our youth, have learnt more about homelessness, and about our Christian calling to serve others in response to Christ's call to love one another as he has loved us. That we were privileged to serve with ESP during this special time of Holy Week and Easter is a serendipity.