St. Paul Parish’s Homeless Ministry’s mission is to give comfort to our area’s homeless population by providing a variety of blessings: lunches and healthy
snacks; toiletries and self-care items; gift cards; and seasonal items, such as outerwear and blankets. Perhaps most important, we provide personal interaction with people who are often overlooked. We make it a point to go out each season to provide these items.
Our goals are to conduct these events monthly; to grow and maintain a team of caring volunteers; to maintain an inventory of items for our outreach; and to communicate the results of our parishioners’ donations.
YOU CAN HELP! PLEASE CONTACT US AT ST.PAUL.PHILLY@GMAIL.COM TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN THE
LIVES OF THE LOCAL HOMELESS.
Latest News from our Homeless Ministry
Greetings from the homeless ministry team. We hope all of you had a joyous Christmas and your new year is off to a great start. The greatest Christmas gift was the arrival of Jesus and our ministry was blessed with much support throughout the year and we would like to share this with you.
Our first shout-out is to our parishioners! Your steadfast support is the foundation of our success in supporting our homeless neighbors. We have asked for food, clothing, and personal care items throughout the year and you have been so generous with your giving. We want you to know that our homeless friends are truly grateful for your kindness and want you to know you are making a difference.
We also want to recognize Father Paul for his support. As many of you know Father Paul has connections with several catholic high schools in the area and Father successfully enlisted the students and their families to partner with us for the December outing. They were excited about the opportunity to support us and were very generous. The students included written notes to the homeless letting them know they are not forgotten and they are loved. These messages are appreciated because many of our homeless have lost their family connections during their homeless journey.
As a result of your generosity and the students, we were able to restock the inventory of essential items we use in our blessing bags and this gives us an opportunity to take a break from needing donations over the next several months. We’ll publish an update in the bulletin when we need your support again.
On Friday, December 22, after two rain delays, we were able to accomplish our December outing. The day was pretty raw with temperatures in the low 30s. Over the course of the day, we were able to provide 80 men and women with lunches, blankets, hats, gloves, socks, and hand warmers. We want to thank Teresa Smith and her CCD students for taking the time to decorate the lunch bags with Christmas themes and included encouraging messages to the homeless people. We are excited about this new collaboration, and we look forward to teaming up again in 2024!
Our next outing is scheduled for January 20th and we plan to distribute lunches, gently used coats, hoodies, sweatshirts, hats, gloves, and scarves. January looks to be a cold month here in Philadelphia so these items will be appreciated.
Lastly, we finalized our 2024 schedule of outreach events we’ll share our plans with you in an upcoming bulletin announcement.
St. Paul Parishioners Serve the Homeless
By Erin Flynn Jay
(Philadelphia, Pa) – On Saturday, June 3, eight parishioners put together 93 brown bags each containing a sandwich, fruit and snacks. We set off from the rectory with two carts, walking toward Center City. We took our usual path—covering South Street, Washington Square Park, Independence Park, Market Street toward City Hall area, JFK Boulevard and Love Park. We interacted with the homeless—some we remembered from past missions—while distributing the food with water bottles.
While some homeless declined what we offered, most were appreciative of what we gave them. Some had a sandwich preference—most preferred turkey and cheese over the other options of ham and cheese or PB&J.
Most of the sandwiches were distributed on Market Street, close to City Hall and Broad Street. By the time we got to Love Park about two hours later, we were able to give out the final supply. There is always a great need at Love Park.
Some did not speak much, while others wanted to share some of their story of how they became homeless. It was a rewarding experience for us as ministers—most of us have done this mission now more than 7 or 8 times.