Urban Community Outreach
First Congregational Church has partnered with the non-profit organization Urban Community Outreach (UCO) by providing the space for UCO’s weekly Drop-In Center. Each Sunday afternoon, Patterson Hall becomes a welcoming space for homeless and others in need of a nutritious and balanced meal, and the church’s 16-station computer lab is open for internet access allowing free long distance phone calls and email for staying in touch with loved ones. The Drop-In Center also provides free health screening and first aid on three Sundays each month.
The Drop-In Center provides a safe place for people to go on the day of the week when many agencies which serve the homeless are closed. There are games, books, magazines and movies shown each week allowing our homeless neighbors a chance to relax and take a break from the harsh conditions of the streets.
Through the generous donations of church and community members the Drop-In Center distributes pantry food, hygiene kits, clothing, blankets and food for their pet companions.
The Drop-In Center volunteer day begins every Sunday at 8:30 a.m. and opens to our guests from 12:30 to 4 p.m. If you are interested in volunteering or donating go to our website(www.urbancommunityoutreach.org) or call 562-582-1000.
The Downtown Associated Youth Services Committee (DAYS), a committee reporting to the Board of Outreach and Social Justice, is responsible for projects that respond to the needs of young people living in neighborhoods around the church. Since 1970, DAYS has run several community outreach programs for youth.
Our annual Summer Day Camp has been a program of love, concern and care to foster personal growth for children aged 4-16 living in downtown Long Beach. Over 10,000 children from some of the city’s poorest neighborhoods have participated in the program. Each year approximately 150 youth spend Monday through Friday for five to nine weeks in a balanced nutrition program with breakfast and lunch provided. Reading and math skills, creative crafts, recreation and field trips keep the campers busy and challenged throughout the summer months.
Over the years, we have also run a variety of after-school tutoring programs. We are currently offering a free tutorial program for up to forty middle school students focusing on developing math and language skills.
In addition, we have offered special Saturday programs in the past for young people in the downtown area. Although we do not currently have a DAYS Saturday program running, there are plans for developing one in the near future.
Each year DAYS manages our church’s Gifts to the Manger project. This project provides dozens of large holiday season baskets to families in need, including lots of food and gifts. Hundreds of adult parents and many more hundreds of children receive important holiday support through this program.
South Coast Interfaith Council (SCIC)
Progressive Christians Uniting (PCU)
Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice (CLUE)
Climate Change Lobby
Cranes of August
Pride Parade and Festival
Martin Luther King Jr. Parade
Anti-Gun Violence Lobby