Hosting Homeless families

Hosting Homeless families


Council: 2219 - WESTBROOK

Project Description:

For the past year, St Anthony Parish, along with 12 other religious congregations within the surrounding towns and
cities, have taken an active part within the Greater Portland Family Promise Program, in order to assist homeless
families by providing those families food and shelter, until they can find jobs and shelter with the help of
volunteers from the Greater Portland Family Promise Organization. All participating congregations take turns feeding
and housing these families for 1 week at a time through out the year, thus each organization provides these services
approximately 4 times a year. This council plays a major roll when the families are housed at St Anthony, by providing
funds to purchase necessary supplies, ie food, toiletry items, paper products, as well as providing manpower to help
set up and take down temporary living quarters and further provide volunteers who eat with the families and provide
a little social interaction with them to include amusing the children of these families. This particular session in
housing the families was very challenging since it was the Easter Season and all congregations could not provide the
facilities or services due to the various Easter project/events that were transpiring. With this being said, a Brother
Knight and his wife took on the challenge of insuring that food and housing were available by coordinating and
planning with St Anthony Parish Staff for the use of the Hall and obtaining ample volunteers to insure that all aspect of
this worthy cause was covered especially for Easter Day. On Saturday March 31, 2018, 6 Brother Knights along with
some of their family members arrived at the Parish Hall and set up four temporary living quarters and resupplied
the kitchen with food. On Easter morning, April 1, 2018, several Brother Knights families as well as families from the
Parish greeted three homeless families, 6 adults and 8 children who were from Africa, Angola and Zambia, volunteers
interacted with them and made them feel at home. While at St Anthony Parish, other than Easter Day, they were
taken to other facilities to receive help in obtaining jobs and housing and returned at approximately 5pm everyday.
During their stay volunteers, many of them Knights and their wives, remained at the Parish with the families and
assisted them as much as possible. Many could not speak English but could speak French, therefore volunteers, who
spoke French communicated very well thus putting these families at ease. On April 7, 2018 all families, who had not
found permanent housing and jobs were transported and housed at another location.

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