I wanted to provided everyone an update since I had the pleasure to meet with the CEO of San Diego Catholic Charities on January 24th.
As I indicated in a previous email to all, St. Mark’s is not currently in the Interfaith Homeless Shelter Rotation, but I have maintained communication with the Program Directors in hopes to locate a church in our area where we can host; hopeful for next year!
In meeting with Vino at Catholic Charities, I can’t express how inspirational he was as we discussed some of the current programs and efforts. I was impressed and motivated by his conviction of Faith in the endeavors he’s undertaking through Catholic Charities and his exuberant, joyful and welcoming leadership style resonated highly with me. While there is no current homeless shelter opportunities beyond the current Carlsbad Shelter for Men, there is another program that Catholic Charities has been rolling out in the San Diego area and would now like to roll out in North County; Emergency Food Assistance Program (EFAP).
The EFAP program distributes USDA food each month. Catholic Charities is looking to implement a North County opportunity for this program and St. Marks, St. Francis and St. Margaret’s have been approved locations.
As an overview summary the program would be hosted at the local parish once a month, staffed by our volunteers and also staff from Catholic Charities. A truck would arrive with the food and we would distribute to those that come to the event. Food items range from fresh fruits and vegetables to canned and bagged items, boxed items etc. I have indicated to Vino that I am interested in coordinating this for St. Mark’s. The next step will be Catholic Charities and Fr. Bruce as well as appropriate members of the Diocese to work towards green-lighting the program for us.
As more details and next step plans emerge I will keep everyone posted. Catholic Charities also shared some expansion concepts for this program down the road to possibly coordinate other services being provided during this once a month event for our own community’s less-fortunate. I believe that God does drive the events in our lives, leading us right where we need to be, even if we sometimes lose sight of that; although my intention was to obtain another homeless shelter opportunity for us, this opportunity has presented. Where there is a need, God finds a way to provide a solution.
I would like to ask that each of you please reply to me and let me know if you are interested in helping with this program and would like to remain on my contact list.
P.S. Donations, items, gifts that have been taken to the St. Mark’s office for the homeless shelter will be provided to Interfaith Shelter.