About Multifaith Works
Our Mission Statement · Building a Community of Compassion
Multifaith Works unites communities of compassionate care and inclusive spirituality with people living in isolation and loneliness.
Multifaith Works Programs
- Shanti offers one-to-one emotional support to people living with HIV/AIDS or other life-threatening illnesses by providing active, non-judgmental listening and a comforting, sustaining relationship.
- The AIDS CareTeam Program offers friendship and practical support to individuals and households living with AIDS.
- Multifaith Housing Program provides supportive low-income housing to people living with AIDS and MS.
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The Vision and Background of Multifaith Works
People Divided by Fear and Hatred
All around the world, religions too frequently are one more cause of divisiveness and violence. Here in our own country there are still groups that seek to divide our society along racial or religious fault lines. Violence against various minorities – gay and lesbian people, Jews, Muslims, African Americans, Asian Americans, women, and others – remains a constant threat.
The New Common Ground: People of Faith United in Action
History shows that, for thousands of years, people of faith have more often than not quarreled about whose tradition was “the true religion”. Multifaith Works, on the other hand, believes it is time to go beyond this divisive and potentially destructive rhetoric to put our faiths into action for the common good. Multifaith Works is dedicated to a grand vision: that people of diverse backgrounds should come together on the basis of shared values in order to assist those in need.
Diverse Communities Working Together Create a Powerful Force for Good
Multifaith Works believes that people who cherish an inclusive community must continually counteract the divisive influences in our society, as well as the natural inclination of people to remain within their own group. Multifaith Works is grounded in the continued existence of strong faith and cultural communities. When we bring together volunteers from diverse backgrounds, we ask all to bring the treasures of their respective faiths and cultures to the work of assisting others in need. In this way, we believe we can build a more compassionate and inclusive community, one that is united in common purpose. By celebrating our diversity and building upon shared values, we become a powerful force for good in our community.
Serving Those Most in Need
There are many potential arenas in which an organization such as ours could work, but Multifaith Works’ focus has always been on helping people living with AIDS and other life-threatening illnesses. AIDS is still very present in our community: more than ever before, AIDS knows no boundaries. AIDS also raises many profound issues in its wake, such as the meaning of suffering, death, sexuality, and drug use. By offering emotional and practical support and housing, we improve the quality of life for people with AIDS in our community. At the same time, our success in this field has led us to initiate similar services for people with other life-threatening illnesses, most notably people with MS.
Building a Community of Compassion and Tolerance
Through our efforts, and by joining hands with other like-minded organizations, we are creating the kind of community in which people can thrive. The links we forge among diverse people help protect against divisiveness, fear, and intolerance. But even more importantly, we are building bridges of understanding among peoples of different backgrounds, leading to the emergence of a more tolerant, more compassionate, and more inclusive society.
Multifaith Works was founded by the Rev. Gwen Beighle in 1988 and is a member of the Interfaith Community Ministry Network. Funding comes through grant awards from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration, the Seattle-King County Department of Public Health, the United Way of King County, Episcopal Charities Appeal, Presbytery of Seattle, Catholic Archdiocese of Seattle, and many other donors. Multifaith Works is also a member of the AIDS Coalition of Washington.