Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington

From the

Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane

Eric Meisfjord, Editor
P.O. Box 48, Spokane WA 99210
(509) 358-7340; FAX: (509) 358-7302

Cathedral hosts ‘Connect Event’ for downtown homeless – information, hospitality, and plenty of food

the Inland Register

(From the September 19, 2013 edition of the Inland Register)

Cathedral staff and volunteers helped prepare and serve hundreds of free meals the afternoon of Aug. 27.

It was a genuine community event, hosted by the Cathedral of Our Lady of Lourdes the afternoon of Tuesday, Aug. 27.

The “Connect Event” saw representation by Cathedral parishioners and staff, the Spokane Homeless Coalition, Catholic Charities, Frontier Behavioral Health, and other agencies and programs, inviting the downtown homeless for food, for information, even for opportunities for free haircuts, supplied by 20 individuals from Paul Mitchell the School in Spokane Valley.

The Cathedral Knights of Columbus and Cathedral staff and volunteers cooked and served over 800 hamburgers and 500 hot dogs, along with side dishes, during the afternoon. All food was paid for through parishioner donations.

O’Connor Hall was filled with tables and laughter from children and elderly and everyone in between. Information tables ringed the room and part of the parking lot, where more people were eating and the free haircut station was set up.

Along with food, distributed items included:

• 350 units of sunscreen, courtesy of Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center.
• 300 units of lip balm, donated by Molina Healthcare of Spokane.
• Free water bottles were distributed by Catholic Charities and by the CHAS Clinic.
• Spokane Homeless Connect distributed 400 pairs of socks.

Other representatives making contact and distributing information in the homeless community included Catholic Charities’ CAPA program, housing programs, and other outreach ministries, such as the House of Charity’s social and outreach workers; the Spokane Homeless Coalition’s partners, including the CHAS Clinic, YWCA, Frontier Behavioral Health, and others; the Hope Program (advocacy for DSHS, Social Security and other programs); Washington State’s Department of Social and Health Services; and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Community Housing.

Among the volunteers were the parish's Knights of Columbus. (IR photos courtesy of Colin Harris)

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