Many hands and hearts made light work of the transformation of our Parish Center’s Sarah Black Room and Pat O’Keefe Room into a home for five temporarily homeless families with children. Saturday was set-up day with lots of parishioners pitching in to clean, rearrange furniture and assemble sleeping quarters. Partitions subdivided the Sarah Black Room into five bedrooms and some donated furnishings made the Pat O’Keefe Room a lovely dining room/family room.
On Sunday afternoon, another crew of volunteers was on hand when the beds and guests’ belongs arrived. Beds were set up and made and some finishing touches added to make our guests feel at home during their stay here.
Guest families, who are spending evenings and nights here all week, are arriving at 5 PM each day and being served meals donated and prepared by volunteer parishioners. On Sunday, the guests will be leaving St. Michael’s and traveling to another hosting location.
We are planning three more hosting weeks during the next twelve months: August 24-31 and, tentatively, December 28-January 4 and April 5-12. So mark your calendars and stay tuned for more information. We are always looking for volunteers to help us with this parish outreach to homeless families.
Here are some comments on this week’s experience:
“Nancy Mahoney and Deb DeNicola have done an amazing job. I just finished 2 nights there, one with Kevin Mahoney, one with Deb DeNicola. Such a rewarding time. The set up is amazing. The organization of it all is "spot on." I'm lucky to be part of this. I'm feelin' the Grace.” Cindy Hannen
Congratulations to Nancy Mahoney and her team for organizing the Family Promise stay for the homeless families. How wonderful that St. Michael parishioners are being so generous to share their facility. Congratulations to Fr. Tim for introducing this program to the Parish. Edie Coogan
Thanks for all your help in dealing with the day to day challenges these [homeless] folks face by volunteering for Family Promise. Cannot imagine how good a warm meal and a welcoming, loving environment must feel when you don’t have a permanent roof over your head. Special thanks and recognition to Nancy and Debby for doing such a great job as coordinators. Looks like the first week is going extremely well. Eileen M Leahey, Family Promise Regional Public Affairs Mgr-Union, Somerset & Hunterdon Counties