Congregrations team up to throw Super Bowl bash for homeless

2013-01-26T06:00:00Z Congregrations team up to throw Super Bowl bash for homelessBy Mary Ann Ford |

BLOOMINGTON — On Feb. 3, people across the nation will go to their friends’ houses for Super Bowl parties, watching the big game on a big screen and eating lots of snacks.

The congregations of Moses Montefiore Temple and Wesley United Methodist Church want that same opportunity for those in the Twin Cities who are without homes — so they’re having a Super Bowl Party for the homeless.

“We want to do something that gives them the sense of well-being, dignity.” said Moses Montefiore Rabbi Lynn Goldstein.  “They can come and have a good time and enjoy a well-earned party.”

It’s an effort Goldstein started when she served a congregation in St. Louis. The first party drew about 125 people; the fourth, 450.  

Shortly after she became the rabbi of the Bloomington temple last summer, she suggested the idea to some Twin City clergy during a lunch.  

“Vaughn (Hoffman, head pastor of Wesley United Methodist Church) said ‘Let’s talk about it.’” Goldstein said.

A month later, the two agreed to partner and offer the first Twin City event.

“Wesley people are getting extremely excited about it,” said the Rev. Camilla Hempstead, associate pastor of the church and one of the

party coordinators.

The event will take place in Wesley Hall at the Bloomington church. The game will be shown on a 10- by 30-foot, drop-down screen and the church is providing the food for dinner through its creative ministries project funds. There will be non-stop snacks, too, Goldstein said.  

There will be a game room for those who either don’t want to watch the Super Bowl, or just want a break from it and a separate activity-packed “kid care center” for children who attend with their parents.  

Both congregations also are collecting various items, such as toiletries, new underwear and socks, gloves and mittens, books and gift cards to include in party bags attendees will be able to take when they leave.

Goldstein and Hempstead said a variety of Twin City businesses also have donated items.

“We want people to feel like they are loved, respected and cared about,” said Goldstein.  “It’s a way they don’t feel when they are checking into a shelter.”

Tom Fulop, director of The Salvation Army Safe Harbor homeless center, said the party is definitely a positive environment.

“I hope it’s a good turnout,” he said.

Sabrina Burkiewicz, vice president of marketing and retail operations at Home Sweet Home Ministries, said residents there are excited about the opportunity.

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(10) Comments

  1. Smiles89
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    Smiles89 - January 27, 2013 11:53 am
    It's clear to me you are lucky enough to have never experienced misfortune, despite your best efforts, being raised by drug addicts, or having a disability. It also obvious you've never taken time to volunteer with the homeless or talk to them. There are so many reasons people end up homeless. Some people go from being middle class to homeless simply because they don't have family to help them get through a job loss. Both shelters in town require residents to be actively working on getting a job and other issues that brought them to be homeless. At this point in their lives, there is very little good. If people want to create a positive experience to lift their spirits, I truly don't understand why anyone but an ignorant person would object.
  2. earlyriser54
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    earlyriser54 - January 27, 2013 4:07 am
    Why stop at once a month? Lets make it everyday. Hell after awhile the word would get around and MORE and MORE people would become HOMELESS so they could shirk responsiblity and still be honored at parties to celebrate teh fact. Some of you liberals seem to forget that if is quite easy to turn less industrious individuals into dependent, worthless, beggars.
  3. earlyriser54
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    earlyriser54 - January 27, 2013 4:04 am
    Since you are volunteering we would like for you to hand a sign in your front yard this Monday morning enviting the homeless to your home for the game. Since you are so civic minded to offer your help, you will need to make 10 gallons of chili. Of course then you will need 15 lbs. of oyster crackers and 40 bags of potato chips. Then you can make 5 gallons of fruit punch and rent 30 folding chairs. Oh thank you so much for your help, I am sure the coffee house people will be happy you are conveniently located close to them. Thank you for your participation, the homeless have EARNED this party.
  4. earlyriser54
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    earlyriser54 - January 27, 2013 3:59 am
    EXACTLY. Is it now the general consensus that if you are homeless you actually EARNED something that others have not? I think this mentality is convoluted and borderline warped. It appears to me this is more of an excuse for some to excuse the irresponsible choices people make resulting in being homeless. I am sure to get some flack from the liberals for this post but the truthis people CHOOSE to be homeless.
  5. bbking
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    bbking - January 26, 2013 8:50 pm
    There is an error in one of the article's comments: We want people to feel like they are loved, respected and cared about. “It’s a way they don’t feel when they are checking into a shelter.” Simply not true. HSHM is a caring, loving, environment that fosters mutual respect between client and staff.
  6. otis1949
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    otis1949 - January 26, 2013 6:05 pm
    really cool iam sure fun will be had by all
  7. questioning
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    questioning - January 26, 2013 1:50 pm
    a "well earned party". Really?? How exactly is it earned?
  8. wisteriatree
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    wisteriatree - January 26, 2013 11:07 am
    This is wonderful news! I try to help some of the homeless folks on the west side of Blm and know this will be very appreciated by all of them. Look forward to helping in any way I can. This should be a lot of fun! Thanks for thinking of doing this.
  9. franksmom
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    franksmom - January 26, 2013 10:52 am
    I agree, it is a wonderful idea. Wouldn't it be great if get togethers similar to this could be done for the homeless every month? I know there are enough people and resources to provide for it. Just a thought...........
  10. wisteriatree
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    wisteriatree - January 26, 2013 8:52 am
    This is soooo exciting! Can't wait to get involved in this wonderful effort by so many in the community. The Homeless folks will love this and it is badly needed. What a great idea brought to town by Rabbi Goldstein. I work with the Homeless on the West side of Blm and can't wait to let them know. I will give rides to as many as I can. This really is just beyond wonderful! Thank You Thank You Thank You!
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