As Westporters hunker down at home, there’s one group of neighbors we can’t forget: the homeless.
Homes with Hope serves Westport’s most vulnerable population. For 36 years, individual citizens, civic organizations, religious institutions and schools have dropped off food — and volunteered to serve it — at Gillespie Center, the downtown shelter.
During the COVID-19 crisis, Homes with Hope will continue to do their great work. But a few things have changed.
People can continue to bring food for lunch and dinner. Just call ahead, or knock on the door. A staff member will pick up the items from you in the courtyard (behind Restoration Hardware).
However, volunteers no longer serve meals. Those will be handled by staff.
In addition, the community kitchen will no longer serve meals for non-resident guests inside. Instead, prepared food bags will be available for pick-up in the courtyard. Each bag includes a flyer with instructions for hand washing and other best practices.
Residents can still drop off items for the food pantry, which is available to anyone who’s hungry. Non-perishable goods like soups, tuna fish, and canned items are needed. These groceries will be brought curbside to anyone in need of food.
In other words: All operations continue at Gillespie Center. Everyone will be served; no one is turned away. However, some procedures are changed, to protect residents and staff members.
Need is as high — in fact, much higher — than ever. Homes with Hope thanks everyone who has helped in the past, and all those who continue to.
(Need help with housing or food? Want to help? Call Homes with Hope director Helen McAlinden directly: 475-225-5292.)