The Baltimore Bulwark for Vulnerable People
Martin Luther wrote “A mighty Fortress is our God, A Bulwark never failing”. This word bulwark is defined as a person, institution, or principle that acts as a defense. And so when Luther wrote of God as a bulwark never failing he was speaking of God’s ability to protect and shield His own. As imitators of God we want to embody this characteristic to our local community and give our neighbors a glimpse of God’s glory through our efforts to defend and care for the vulnerable.
The Baltimore Bulwark is the benevolence or diaconal fund of Haven City Church and seeks to fulfill Micah 6:8 “To do justly, To love mercy”. It is a pool or resources (financial, physical, services) that are meant to care for vulnerable people in Baltimore city.
Where do the resources come from?
The resources in the Baltimore Bulwark are contributions from Haven City Church members and other financial partners. Approximately 35% of internal giving is designated for the Bulwark. That means that when money is given on a Sunday or online by a church member 35% of that giving is put into the Bulwark fund.
Who qualifies for care?
There are three groups of people who can qualify to receive care from the Bulwark fund:
- Haven City Church members
- Individuals directly connected to Haven City Church members
- People in crises who are sent to us by Service Coordinators in Southeast Baltimore
Additionally, the following criteria needs to be met:
- A need exists beyond the resources of the individual or family.
- Gal. 6:2 Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.
- The individual in need is not engaged in any illegal activity.
- The individual has communicated the need via simple form and provided a written “next-steps” plan for their current crisis.
What is the process for getting help?
- We have a simple form that can be downloaded here. Once completed it can be turned into Pastor Josh in person or by email.
- This form is then presented to the Bulwark committee with the objective of getting a decision within 24 hours.