Simple needs are sometimes difficult to meet – especially if you are among the less fortunate. Old St. Joseph’s Church has for years been meeting some of the simple needs of men who are experiencing homelessness or teetering on the edge of homelessness. Three days a week, the church’s outreach program provides a 3-course meal to some 60 men who come together as a community to share friendship with each other.
The Old St. Joseph’s program – Faith, Food & Friends – does not proselytize; it simply welcomes those who come. Most of the men are regulars and so know each other, Mary Freedman who coordinates the program, and the volunteers (many of whom have been coming to cook a meal and serve the men weekly for several years).
Old St. Joseph’s offers the men more than community and a meal. It fills some needs that men on the street or near it have: a place to get their mail; a few hygiene supplies; a pair of socks when they are available. One need Old St.Joseph’s was struggling to meet was for backpacks to replace the plastic grocery bags the men use to protect their clothes and documents. Mary contacted DVFP a few months ago, told us about the problem, and submitted an application for assistance in getting the backpacks. It was a quick decision. Today, with the assistance from DVFP. Mary and the outreach program are replacing the plastic grocery bags with secure backpacks, making life “a little better” for that community. Great that Mary saw the need and did something about it!