It’s Monday at the Centre;
We open our doors at 10:30 am to homeless people, lonely people, and elderly people.
Those labels fall away when our guests enter the light-filled dining and living room and grab a seat for some coffee, a light breakfast and a lively discussion over the newspapers.
Jack has an appointment with Tina for one-on-one counselling in the office where she is offering him substance abuse help.
At the tables, Harrold, our guest, sits next to Giulia, our volunteer, who writes out the day’s menu on blackboards. Sounds of sizzling onions and the chatter of chefs waft out of the kitchen.
By 12:30, the dining room fills with people talking or reading. Our volunteers go around to the tables with piping hot tomato soup garnished with croutons and herb oil and ask our guests if they would prefer the chicken ragu or mushroom risotto.
Conversations about the ingredients, current events and art fill the hall. Some guests sit quietly either reading or simply enjoying the community feeling without needing to add to the hubbub. After lunch, fifteen guests stay behind to join Michael in a therapeutic art making class.
Our community knows that we care because every day we work hard to prove that is the case. We believe in the dignity and value of people who are often swept to the margins of society.