Helping Those in Need
We have all, no doubt, witnessed the chronic condition in our community of substance abuse, homelessness, and the related lack of food and clothing resources. We would also like to be of some help in bringing relief, but don’t always know how. One of the little steps our parish has made in the past year was to establish an ongoing food collection. We directly distribute the food that is deposited in the entrance of the Cathedral Church, if there is an excess, we contribute it to the local food pantry.
Most of us no doubt feel an inner conflict when we encounter the homeless when its connected to substance abuse. We are sometimes afraid that resources we give are enabling the dependance, and also sometimes simply just do not wish to encounter people who are not in a state to be gracious receivers of help we could give. There is of course no easy solution, or else it would have been accomplished long ago.
I recently was given a good piece of advice from a person who does homeless ministry. He says that direct aid of money should probably not be given ordinarily. Rather, food, clothing or other useful goods can be given. I would encourage you to make, and keep in your car a few little lunch sacks with non perishable items in them. What is always helpful is genuine human interaction! It is also always helpful to be able to make good referrals to agencies that are better equipped to deal with the material needs as well as resources for getting out of the circumstances that the people find themselves in. One thing you could and should always offer is prayer.
Here are some local agencies that can provide help to people in need and in difficult situations.
Catholic Charities: 505-722-5272, 506 West Highway 66—Food, Clothing and Utilities
Sheriff’s Department: 505-863-1410, 300 B Nizhoni Blvd.—Gasoline
Casa St. Joseph: 505-721-5156, 411 West Wilson Ave. —Food and Shelter (Men and Women)
Care 66: 505-722-0066, 407 West Highway 66– Shelter (Men and Women)
Shelter for those trying to break the use of drugs and alcohol call 505-728-8477
If you know of any other resource please let the parish office know, we will add it to our list.