homeless

COLD EMERGENCY: Catholics rush to respond as freezing temperatures increase risk to homeless

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Under a tall railroad bridge in St. Charles County, a couple revealed a small tent stuffed nearly full with blankets. It's been their home for the past five months, but life in a tent has become unbearable in the recent freezing temperatures.

They have enough money for one more night at a hotel, but after that — well, they aren't sure.

"You just have to bundle up," the man said as he looked through a box of snack items in the back of a van operated by Sts. Joachim and Ann Care Service's Street Outreach team. The ministry visited the area, helping people find a warm place to stay.

Yes, there is Room at the Inn

Jeremy Anderson, left, Chasidy Ellis and their one-year-old son, Chance Anderson, prepared to sleep Dec. 21 at Christ the King Church in University City. The church serves as a night site for Room at the Inn, a ministry that provides temporary emergency shelter for homeless women and families. Room at the Inn uses space in churches, synagogues and mosques to house people.

A few days before Christmas, Jeremy Anderson sat in the basement of Christ the King Church in University City with his girlfriend and one-year-old son as they ate a barbecue dinner.

It was not exactly where they'd hoped to be, but the food was warm and the conversation was good. They were grateful to have found Room at the Inn.

Anderson had been working in security at a hotel in Las Vegas last year. A mass shooting at a concert near the Mandalay Bay hotel left him stressed. His employer gave him time off work, but it was just too much.

Catholic Campaign for Human Development grows success

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Broccoli, beets, turnips, sprouts, spinach, cauliflower and more fill the bins at City Greens Market's bright and colorful storefront on Manchester Avenue in St. Louis.

With a $6,300 grant from the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, several families will grow food to sell at the nonprofit market. Also, herbs locally grown are coveted by restaurants which pay top-dollar.

TINY HOUSES, BIG HELP

Rockwood Summit High School students Sam Kesselring and Alex McHugh constructed walls for the tiny house. The students are part of a Geometry in Construction class that is building tiny houses that will help people transition out of homelessness. The project is the effort of several groups, including North Grand Neighborhood Services, Rockwood School District and Social Justice 4 All.

Gayle Piepho arrived late to a panel discussion on homelessness at Incarnate Word Parish. It was a long day. She was tired.

Then she perked up — and became the link between public high school students, who are building tiny houses for people who are homeless, and a faith-based organization supporting the effort through its mission to promote social justice.

Bridge Bread gives homeless opportunities for employment, job skills

Daryl Pitchford rolled dinner roll dough at the Bridge Bread’s location on South Grand Boulevard. Bridge Bread is a social enterprise that employs people living on the street to bake bread for sale.

Daryl Pitchford rolled small clumps of dough into balls, setting them on a pan. They were to become a freshly baked batch of dinner rolls, to be sold through the Bridge Bread initiative.

Pitchford, who supervises the kitchen on South Grand Bouleard where the baked goods are made nearly daily, wasn't always a baker. After a divorce, he became homeless for nearly a year — four months of which was sleeping on the streets.

In Plain Sight project an eye-opener for Wentzville teacher

Mattie posed for a photo, taken by her grandmother Sharon, with a signed a photograph of herself and buyer Steve Henry at the Sts. Joachim and Ann Care Service, “In Plain Sight” photography auction dinner Aug. 19 at the St. Peters Cultural Arts Centre. Henry was a teacher at Mattie’s school, but didn’t know she was homeless until the fundraiser dinner.

Steve Henry was caught by surprise when he discovered a student with whom he often interacted at his school was homeless.

It was a prime example of how homelessness often is in plain sight, but yet remains hidden, the Wentzville teacher said.

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