Faith leaders to hold outdoor prayer services for homeless at Hilltop hotel

County no longer eyeing purchase of Hilltop Marriott to serve homeless
Courtyard Marriott at Hilltop is located at 3150 Garrity Way in Richmond.

By Mike Kinney

The Greater Richmond Interfaith Program (GRIP) will hold an outdoor prayer service in the parking lot of the Courtyard Marriott at Hilltop on Sunday.

Faith leaders will gather for a service from 9:15 a.m. to 9:45 a.m. at the hotel at 3150 Garrity Way. The event will be coordinated by Pastor Henry Washington of The Garden of Peace Ministries and the theme will be, “A Prayer for Healing.”

The hotel is currently housing at-risk homeless individuals and families in a non-congregant setting in order to protect them from the spread of COVID-19. GRIP is managing the operation in partnership with Contra Costa County.

“While churches are closed we will utilize social distancing and have a prayer service in the parking lot,”  GRIP Executive Director Kathleen Sullivan said. “A host of pastors have been invited. A singer from Easter Hill United Methodist Church will sing acapella. This is a part of my efforts to unite faith leaders in support of the homeless.”

Sullivan said the community’s homeless are faced with many challenges.

“We need prayer for the now and for the what’s next,” Sullivan said. “We don’t want anyone to have to return to the streets. We need housing and resources for all that live there. Time to get clean and sober, regain health and strength, receive some counseling and resources, know they are loved and that there is hope.”

GRIP’s partnership with the County’s Housing and Homeless Services provides hotel occupants with temporary shelter, meals and healthcare resources, including mental health services. The hotel is staffed around the clock.”

Prayer service will be conducted each Sunday at Courtyard Marriott’s parking lot, Sullivan said.