Out of the Cold Serves a Hot Meal and a Place to Sleep
Twenty-Six-Year-Old Program Still Necessary
By Kim Campbell
With the bitterness of this winter, local communities need more safe and reliable services for individuals in need. The local Out of the Cold program at the Church of St. Aidan remains a welcoming place that continues to provide warm meals and shelter within the Beach community. This program runs on the hard work and dedication of over one hundred volunteers, who dedicate their time and effort to making this program function effectively throughout the winter.
The first Out of the Cold program began at St. Michael’s High School twenty-six years ago with its founder, Sister Susan Moran. She spoke about it a month ago at St. Aidan’s, stating, “Really the out of the cold program belongs to you. It opens our hearts for those who suffer, those who are poor and those who don’t have enough to eat. But really it is about seeing what love is all about.”
Not only does the Out of the Cold program serve a hot meal to guests, but it also offers an overnight program for both men and women. This program runs on a first come, first served basis, with the meal serving up to forty-five people, and the overnight program assisting up to twenty-five. One participant stated, “There is a core group of people but we get some new faces.” It isn’t hard to see that there is a sense of community here and people feel welcome.
It is unfortunate that communities must continue to rely on local, non-profit programs, charities, and organizations because of the lack of government support in the effort to end poverty. However, it is no surprise, given that hourly minimum wage was only increased by seventy-five cents this year, despite continued increases in cost of living. Furthermore, already high tuition fees are skyrocketing, and the amount of available, part-time work forces people into insecure, low- paying jobs. All of these injustices highlight the leading factors of poverty and why Out of the Cold programs are essential in our communities.