Fathers are homeless too

In honor of Father’s Day, Loaves & Fishes celebrated its guests who are fathers.

Gail Filter, Doug Winter and Theodore Goodwin captured stunning pictures of Loves & Fishes guests and provided them with two copies of their likeness — one to keep and one to send to their loved ones. (Keep scrolling to see their beautiful portraits).

Joe Walker livened up Friendship park with his piano playing and singing. And, staff and volunteers provided guests with cards to send to their dads and children.

“It is such a privilege to be able to recognize these men who perhaps haven’t been in contact with their family for years,” Hannah Ozanian, the Director of Friendship Park said. “You see it in their eyes when you elevate them and ask them to get their picture taken professionally. It is such an honor for them to realize that they deserve to have their picture taken as much as any other father.”

Many guests at Loaves & Fishes are estranged from their children because they’ve been surviving on the streets for so long. And many serve as fathers to those who are young and vulnerable and also experiencing homelessness.

“Father’s Day is an opportunity is to be with our guests who cannot reach out to their family and to make them feel as if they are family,” Goerge Kohrummel, the assistant director of Friendship Park said. “Our guests get to share their day and their thoughts with each other.”

Check out these pictures of our guests who we are so lucky to say belong to our family at Loaves & Fishes:

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Maryhouse’s Mother’s Day Celebration

On May 20th. Maryhouse celebrated mother’s day.

The hospitality shelter’s Mother’s Day brunch was hosted by the National Charity League, a national philanthropic organization which aims to cultivate mother-daughter relationships through community service, leadership development and cultural experiences.

The celebration which took place in the garden behind Maryhouse was especially sweet for the guests of Maryhouse who often exist in spaces that are traumatic and full of crisis. At the brunch, guests had the opportunity to slowdown and savor the simple indulgence of a celebration — a toast to their roles as mothers, sisters, daughters and friends. They were greeted with corsages and treated to a delectable feast composed of french toast casserole, egg casserole, buttery croissants, bacon, muffins, cupcakes and fresh sliced fruit.

They were waited on by staff and volunteers.

“At our mother’s day celebration, our guests are just generally treated like the wonderful women that they are,” Shannon Stevens, the director of Maryhouse said. “It is nice to have a day where our only job is to be present in a celebratory manner. We wait on guests, laugh and tell stories. Unlike routine days, when we are doing more intervention, the brunch is a real chance to slow down and enjoy everyone around us. It’s also incredible to have the opportunity to recognize the worthiness and radiance of our guests.”

The guests’ portraits were taken and they received gift bags with sunglasses, body spray, make up and a gift card.

“This is amazing! I’ve never been treated like a princess before,” one guest said.

Volunteers from the National Charity League provided a wonderful Mother’s Day feast for the guests of Maryhouse.

Christmas Day 2016 in black, white, and a little color

It’s Christmas morning and I’m at Loaves and Fishes to photograph the holiday meal. It is really cold! There is no thermostat for adjusting the heat when you are homeless and living on the street. Many homeless are beginning to stir in nearby areas, rolling up thin sleeping bags and crawling out from makeshift shelters constructed of cardboard and plastic sheeting.

The dining room doors will soon open. A hot ham and turkey dinner is being served, Christmas stockings given to guests, and all receive warm holiday greetings from Loaves and Fishes staff and volunteers. Today, the dining room also provides shelter, a short respite from the bitter cold.

I find that black and white images of the homeless speak loudly about both conditions and needs. I also feel that in some instances images provide windows to the heart, soul and minds of those photographed.

-Gale Filter

Christmas Brunch at Maryhouse

Every Christmas season, Loaves & Fishes hosts activities to celebrate our guests, many of whom have nowhere to go for the holidays. We believe that everyone deserves to celebrate during this time, and do our best to help make the holiday season a bit brighter for our guests.

With the help of generous individuals and groups, Loaves & Fishes is able to provide toys, Christmas, stockings, warm clothing, and hot meals to those who would otherwise go without this Christmas.

A very special event that we hold each year at Loaves & Fishes is our Maryhouse Christmas Brunch. During brunch, we are able to honor the women and families who visit Maryhouse, our daytime shelter for women and children. This year, volunteers and staff served a delicious hot meal to guests, and photographers from the community volunteered to take photographs of women and families. Our guests were then given photographs to keep, or share with loved ones.

Below is a gallery of photographs from this year’s Christmas Brunch. Special thanks to Gale Filter, Theodore Goodwin, and Doug Winter for volunteering their time and talent to Loaves & Fishes and our guests!

5 Ways to Give Back This Holiday Season

In the season of giving, what can you do to help those experiencing homelessness in Sacramento? Below are 5 simple ways that you can make a difference in the life of a homeless man, woman, or child.  

1.     Stop and say hello

o   Have a conversation. Show someone that you care. Ask how the person is doing; learn a little bit about him/her. It may seem simple, but to show that you care can make a world of difference.

2.    Carry a Care Kit in your car

o   Items in kit may include: granola bars, bottled water, a McDonald’s gift card, a pair of socks, travel-sized toiletries…

3.    Volunteer at a local nonprofit

o   Local organizations serving the homeless in our community include: Next Move, Wind Youth Services, Sacramento Loaves & Fishes, St. John’s Program for Real Change, Volunteers of America, Salvation Army. Information about volunteering is available on each organization’s website.

4.    Host a donation drive

o   Organize a donation drive at your workplace, school, or place of worship. To learn about what service providers need, call or check the provider’s website.

5.    Donate

o   Service providers are always accepting monetary donations to help support their programs. See contact information below for details:

–Loaves & Fishes: www.sacloaves.org/donate, or 637-2461

–Next Move: www.nextmovesacramento.org, or 454-2120

–Wind Youth Services: www.windyouth.org, or 561-4900

–Volunteers of America: https://www.voa-ncnn.org/sacramento, or 265-3400

–Salvation Army: http://www.salvationarmyusa.org/usn/housing-and-homeless-services, or 448-0890

–St. John’s Program for Real Change: www.saintjohnsprogram.org, or 453-1482

…and many more!

Happy Holidays to you and your loved ones!

Día de los Muertos 2016- A Photo Essay

Since 2001, Loaves & Fishes has celebrated Dia de los Muertos by reading the names of members of the Sacramento homeless community who have passed on. This year nearly 700 names were read by L&F guests, staff members and volunteers at the Memorial Wall at Friendship Park. Images from the memorable event were captured by Gale Filter, Theodore Goodwin and Bob Redd, all members of the Sierra Camera Club. Photo by Bob Redd – 2016 Photo by Gale Filter – 2016 Photo by Bob Redd – 2016 Photo by Theodore Goodwin – 2016 Photo by Gale Filter – 2016 Photo by Theodore Goodwin – 2016 Photo by Gale Filter – 2016 Photo by Bob Redd – 2016 Photo by Gale Filter – 2016 Photo by Theodore Goodwin – 2016 Photo by Bob Redd – 2016 Photo by Bob Redd – 2016 Photo by Gale Filter – 2016 Photo by Theodore Goodwin – 2016 Photo by Bob Redd – 2016 Photo by Bob Redd – 2016 Photo by Theodore Goodwin – 2016 Photo by Theodore Goodwin – 2016 Photo by Gale Filter – 2016 Photo by Theodore Goodwin – 2016 Photo by Theodore Goodwin – 2016Photo by Bob Redd – 2016