PSR Student Helps Turn Internship into Job for Local Agency

May 31, 2013

Current PSR MDiv student MA (Marianna) Sempari has been doing her field education this past year at the Homeless Veterans Program that is part of the Berkeley Food & Housing Projects (BFHP). As a result of MA’s work during her internship, the Homeless Veterans Program has created a permanent chaplain position as part of the services they provide for homeless veterans. (Read press release below)

On Saturday, June 15, there will be a special fund-raising event by Nell Robinson & Rose of No-Man’s Land at Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse in Berkeley. This show will be filmed live for a music series on PBS by Peter Berkow, an Emmy-Award-winning producer, teacher, and writer. Purchase tickets online at

Nell Robinson will be joined is by musical, theatre and literary icons: two-time Grammy Winner Ramblin’ Jack Elliott; actor, poet and musician John Doe; award-winning author Maxine Hong-Kingston; and acclaimed actor/director Julian Lopez Morillas. The band includes bluegrass stalwarts Jim Nunally (guitar), Keith Little (mandolin, mandola) and Sam Grisman (string bass), master of all-things stringed Craig Eastman (fiddle, slide guitar), and jazz percussionist Zach Harmon.

Freigh & Salvage Event »

Berkeley Food and Housing Program for Homeless Veterans

In March 2011 Berkeley Food and Housing Project (BFHP) began welcoming homeless veterans into a special program within our Men’s Shelter in downtown Berkeley. In this program, twelve veterans at a time receive intensive services focused on providing access to healthcare, employment, and life skills training to make sure their transition from long-term homelessness into stable housing is successful. 

Many chronically homeless vets are disconnected from family and society.  They struggle with an array of psychosocial difficulties including reliance on alcohol and other substances to help them cope with their circumstances. At BFHP, we provide services that connect vets with the resources they need to rebuild their lives.

As part of this effort, and to follow military tradition of providing chaplaincy services, we are now providing a nondenominational chaplain whose function is to listen and help our Veterans in dealing with powerlessness, pain, and alienation.  The essence of our chaplain’s service is about spiritual caregiving.  Our chaplain, M.A., defines spirituality “as the capacity of every human being to be able to create meaning and purpose in every life event.”

“A Rose in No Man’s Land,” featuring words and music that honor and reflect the experience of men and women who have served their country, is being presented in honor of BFHP’s program for homeless veterans. The funds we raise at this concert will go to support our chaplain. Our chaplain’s work is part of the holistic approach we take to supporting our veterans in their journey from homelessness to stability.