Vt. Church Sells Stained-Glass Window to Help Homeless

First Baptist Church in Brattleboro, Vt., is selling its Tiffany stained-glass window to continue helping the homeless.

The more than 100-year-old window, which depicts St. John the Divine, is being sold to help make necessary repairs in the building so that the church would be able to keep its homeless shelter open.

Cutting the pastor's hours and letting the custodian go didn't prove to be enough especially as the congregation was experiencing decreased membership and giving.

Though the congregation considered selling other things such as its pews or even three other stained-glass windows, members voted to sell what had the highest value – the window that was created and signed by Tiffany Studios in New York City. According to WCAX, the church has already received an offer for $75,000.

First Baptist operates an overflow shelter, supplying beds to dozens of visitors, many of whom are waitlisted at Morning Shelter – the only homeless shelter in southeastern Vermont.

"The shelter (at the church) provides a critical emergency place for people to be until they can get in here," Paul Capcarra, executive director of Morningside Shelter, told the Brattleboro Reformer.

The church began hosting the homeless shelter two years ago as the homeless population increased at the onset of the economic recession.

In 2007, Vermont had the highest rate of homelessness in New England, according to the state Housing Finance Agency. From 2000 to 2007, the number of Vermonters who were able to find room in one of the state's emergency shelters declined, even as the number of homeless families served by shelters increased. Shelters across the state have been nearly always full.