Hi, First Stop friends! Meet Rosie!
Rosie has been volunteering with First Stop for the past four years. When she was in seminary, she began thinking about ways to reach people with church in the outside world. She was inspired by the Community of St. Joseph—a church that brings services to the homeless camps in Savannah.
She wanted to offer something similar and was hired as the Outreach Missioner at The Church of the Nativity to help reimagine their outreach efforts. When asked why she felt like this was such a need in the community, Rosie stated:
“I wanted to offer a chance to worship and pray with people who don’t always have pastoral guidance and leadership—meeting people where they’re comfortable. It’s about sharing life and connecting, being vulnerable, and letting them know me in return. This is such transitory work because you never know who you’re going to see again. That connection is important.”
For Rosie, helping build relationships between First Stop staff and the homeless community eases the transition from sleeping in a tent, and coming to First Stop for services. Her work in the homeless community is widespread. She created the Suds-n-Buds homeless laundry program, volunteers regularly in the First Stop Day Center, acts as an advocate in medical and court appointments, and offers funeral services for homeless individuals who have passed on.
“Funerals offer dignity in death. Being able to provide that for people, and to honor those in the community where people can be present is important. At the base level, it lets people know they are cared for, worthy, and valuable.”
Rosie also has a personal connection to homelessness:
“From age 14-16 I lived in a community homeless shelter in Virginia with my mother and sister. We knew everyone there. I was a teen and went to a lot of rock shows, often heading back to the shelter late at night. While walking home, I’d be recognized by people from the soup kitchen, and they would have someone watch their things so they could walk me back safely. That sense of community and care stuck with me—the fact that someone would walk away from all of their belongings to make sure I made it back. I’m called to do that now—walking people home, wherever that may lead.”
Rosie, we can’t thank you enough for what you do for this community, your church, and our clients.