Dear Members of the Christ Church Parish,
We have been asked by the Vestry to follow up on the presentation to the Annual Meeting made by the People’s Harm Reduction Alliance and to ask for your initial input to the decision-making process. Given that the proposal is in the early formative stage, we would like to hear your general reactions to the idea of providing space for some of PHRA’s activities and the issues you would like the Vestry to consider.
PHRA’s mission is to meet drug users where they are and help them reach their desired outcomes, by providing for their health and dignity through overdose prevention, counseling services, clean needle distribution, and more. Their services have saved literally thousands of lives in the University District and across the greater Puget Sound region. Our Street Chaplaincy wagon became a regular visitor to their Sunday afternoon session at the University Temple United Methodist Church and our outreach volunteers developed good relations with the PHRA staff. You can obtain more information about their activities by visiting their website at www.phra.org.
PHRA has lost its space at the Methodist Church. Because of their urgent need for a place to store their supplies, we have granted them use of part of the closet at the west end of the Undercroft. They are looking for a broader, more permanent agreement that would provide them with office space to meet with clients and provide confidential counseling services, drop-in space for building relationships and education, and access to a bathroom. Their operating hours do not significantly overlap with CEC’s own activities: 5-7 PM on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and 1-5 PM on Fridays and Sundays. They would be responsible for cleaning up around the church after their hours, and would work with the community they serve to ensure everyone treats the building with care and respect.
Our current discussions regarding their possible use of our space have focused on the Undercroft, where the Bride’s Room and the Choir Room can provide two locked offices. Henry has been consulted and is on board with the project and willing to move to the other building (with some renovations and adjustments to the spaces needed).
The Vestry plans an extensive discussion about the PHRA option at its annual retreat, scheduled for February 26th – 28th. We ask you now to give the Vestry your input by filling out the survey at https://forms.gle/19dLbxtedxwFdQCv7 before February 24th.
Thank you for your input,