The Street Ministry: As of today, April 2, the Street Ministry will attempt to serve those in need. We are consistently in need of donations. These donations can be left in the lobby of Seton Chapel and the Main Entrance of the Church. The Street Ministry is continuously serving 60-90 individuals and families every Thursday night, many of whom are homeless. We are tremendously grateful for all of the donations that continue to allow us to do this work. We are in need of the following: Jelly + Blankets + Disposable razors + Women’s underwear/ socks Quart zip lock bags + toilet paper + (Dollar store) feminine hygiene pads, financial donations or gift cards to places such as the Dollar Store or Walmart are most welcome too. Checks may be made payable to St. John the Evangelist and donations can be left in the Parish Office. Donations may be dropped off outside the Parish Office or in the locations listed above.
The Street Ministry is continuously serving 60-90 individuals and families every Thursday night, many of whom are homeless. We are tremendously grateful for all of the donations that continue to allow us to do this work. We are in need of the following: jelly + blankets + disposable razors + women’s underwear/socks, quart zip lock bags + toilet paper + (dollar store) feminine hygiene pads + winter coats + travel shampoo + shaving cream + women’s socks + men’s socks + women’s deodorant + quart & gallon Zip-lock bags.
Financial donations are most welcome as they allow us to purchase items as they are needed. Checks may be made payable to St. John the Evangelist and donations can be left in the Parish Office. We would also be most grateful for gift cards to places such as the Dollar Store or Walmart so we can obtain these items. Donations may be dropped off to the Parish Office (Blue House) during normal business hours or Parish Social Ministry Office (Red Barn) Monday - Thursday from 10 a.m. - noon or 1 - 3 p.m.
Special Notices: As Long Island continues to increase in its cost of living, more and more individuals and families are being squeezed out of permanent housing. After numerous parishioners have reached out to share their experiences, I figured that I would share the mindset of our Street Ministry on what we feel is the best way to facilitate and foster relationships with the homeless. The question of what the responsible gift is to give to a person who is homeless is a difficult one. If I have the time, I’ll hand out a gift card or even buy them a meal at the most convenient restaurant. We would obviously never give money out to someone living on the streets right? Sure, the stereotype of a person who is homeless is addicted to drugs and alcohol but that isn’t always the case of course. Pope Francis could not be any clearer when giving advice on what to give someone who is homeless. Not only does Pope Francis say it is NOT our place to judge on where the money is spent but we should also look them in the eye when speaking and giving them money. Ultimately, do what feels most comfortable. Even if you do not have any material donations to give, just by speaking with them you are restoring their dignity.
There are essentially three phone numbers that you will want to know of. 1) Suffolk County Department of Social Services has an emergency phone number (631.854.9100) you can call during the weekdays after 4:30 p.m. and weekends at any time. They will provide a bed in a shelter and transportation to it. However, many shelters are infamous for being unsafe and/or unhealthy so do not be surprised if the person is reluctant to go and would rather sleep outside. 2) Maureen’s Haven (631.727.6831) is a non-profit, interdenominational organization that houses the homeless in churches on the East End of Long Island during the winter months and provides other resources throughout the year. 3) St. John the Evangelist (631.878.0009 ext. 119). The Street Ministry provides hot meals and clothing every Thursday night. We also aid with case management, food, clothing, toiletries, etc. If there is someone who is in the area that you know of and is open to receiving these types of services, please give them the SJE phone number and tell them to leave a message with their name, phone number they can be reached on and what they are looking for help with while being as detailed as possible (say sizes of clothes and types of clothing). The most important concept to remember is safety! Never drive anyone anywhere and always try to be with someone else you can trust. This advice is for those who have met a person who may be homeless outside of a clothing store or supermarket so don’t go trekking in the woods looking for a “tent city.” If you have any questions or would like to volunteer, please call 631.878.0009 ext. 119.
SJE's Street Ministry has been servicing over 30 individuals/families over these past few weeks. Thank you to the SJE community for your help through donations that allow us to continue to support those that are in need. Thank you to the parish for allowing us to do this work.
We are in need of the following donations:
- Water bottles
- Women’s deodorant
- Shampoo and conditioner (travel size)
- Wash cloths
- Men’s jeans
- Men’s shorts
- Sunscreen/Suntan Lotion
- Bug spray
- Vegetables and fruits
- Diapers and wipes (all sizes)
- Toddler and Children's clothing in good condition
- Men’s T-shirts and shorts in good condition
- Women’s T-shirts and shorts in good condition
- Backpacks (especially for those with children who plan on buying a new one for next school year)
- Men, women and children’s sneakers
- Men and women’s socks
- Men and women’s belts
- New men's socks and underwear
- Financial donations are always welcome.
We have been given the gift of helping children in need and request the supplies necessary to properly service them. Financial donations are most welcome as they allow us to purchase items as they are needed. Sometimes things “come up” and we need to make a quick purchase. Checks may be made payable to St. John the Evangelist or donations left in the Parish Office. Checks can be made payable to 'St. John the Evangelist' and can be left in the parish office. Donations can be left in the rectory during regular business hours.
The following is a firsthand account from one of our volunteers:
And so last night we went out again. Anticipating a good night to reconnect with the people we met last week, our preparation was filled with hope and joy. Excited to include in our packing the items that were specifically requested, we set off to Mastic Movie Land for our first stop. When we pulled into the parking lot we saw our friend Jim* stationed in front of the Family Dollar store. We set up our table and organized the bins in the vans for the distribution of clothing and toiletries. Then we gathered the items we had brought specifically for Jim*, prepared him a cup of coffee, grabbed him a bagged lunch and headed around the corner to where he was sitting. He seemed overwhelmed by our generosity and though a bit quieter than last week, he seemed extremely grateful for everything we brought. The brand-new sneakers in just his size and the unex-pected jacket that fit him to a T really seemed to touch him. With great humility and gratitude he accepted everything. We wished him a good week. As we left we asked him to pray for us and promised to pray for him. So let’s all lift Jim* in prayer. Our hearts were so full… and that was only the beginning.
All of a sudden a little boy came running toward us. His name was Frank* and he was about seven years old. With his big brown eyes and dark hair he asked who we were and what this was all about. He told us that his mom was in the car and she wanted to know. As best as you can explain our ministry to a seven-year-old, we did so and as quickly as his little legs carried him toward us, he ran back across the parking lot to explain everything to his mom. A minute later he was back. This time his questions was, “Is it for free?” With a resounding, “Absolutely yes!” we answered his question and again those little legs scur-ried back across the parking lot. Within a few minutes we were joined by Frank's* mom Marie*, his older sister Jennifer* and his younger sister Megan*. The children were bursting with excitement.
They each took a bagged lunch. We asked Marie* if she needed any clothing or toiletries. As we spoke to her it became clear to us that we need to start bringing children's cloth-ing with us. She didn’t ask for anything for herself, only for her kids. Unfortunately we could only offer the younger children toys. We were able to outfit Jennifer* with a pair of jeans and a jacket which she immediately put on as she was shivering in the night air. Noticing that Marie* was also cold, we went back to the van and found a jacket that would fit her. She also put hers on immediately. We gave socks to Frank*, but could not provide any additional clothing for the little ones. We were so upset about that. But Marie* and her family were not disappointed at all. They were thankful and happy and the conversation that followed created another connection. God was working. Those children were so much fun and brought so much joy to our little set up in the parking lot that it was clear that our God was right there with us and that His Most Holy Spirit was bearing much fruit.
Before we left Mastic Movie Land we had served 13 people. After servicing 4 more at the train station, our total came to 17 for the night.
Thank you Heavenly Father for the awesome privilege of serving Your people, our brothers and sis-ters. Thank you for providing all that we need each and every day. Fill us with Your Grace. Amen!
*All names have been changed to protect the identities of those we serve.
Have you ever heard you're like a used-car salesman?
The Street Ministry is looking for a used van/box truck that would help us to better serve our parishioners in need. The van would need to be in working condition. It would not be used for any kind of passenger transport. Have an idea? Know someone? Want to give the church a van/box truck? Contact the Parish Social Ministry at 631.878.0009.