St. Regis Catholic Church starting working with South Oakland Shelter when it was first founded in the 1980’s.
“One of our missions at St. Regis is to serve people in need and SOS has been our main focus every June following the example of Jesus Christ as is stated in Mathew 25 :35 – 40,” shared Susan Butkovich, a parishioner at St. Regis, “It has given our community an opportunity to give back, to work with one another, to grow in faith by example and to become closer with those we serve that week, giving them not only a place to stay and food, but respect through fellowship.”
Their congregation was a perfect site for hosting the Lighthouse emergency shelter, as it has a school on site. They were able to create bedrooms in the classrooms, have multiple bathrooms, and a cafeteria and kitchen so delicious home cooked meals could be provided to shelter guests.
“A favorite memory of mine is when we opened up the gym and track for our guests to use and they had a basketball game with some of our volunteers,” Susan recalled, “We also set up a kid’s room so that the kids and volunteer kids could have some fun. Bingo night as well as a few parish members who played instruments were always well received by our guests.”
Their congregation does so much to help their community because they feel it is their calling to help and serve others and to experience the joys of giving. When so many individuals volunteer their time and effort, it creates a wonderful community.
In total, about 250 volunteers from the congregation help make their host week a reality each year. So many individuals are dedicated to the emergency shelter and we are so thankful for their many years of support!
In addition to working so hard to host the emergency shelter, St. Regis is involved in a number of other community programs, including a Giving Tree during the holidays. They partner with other parishes to provide holiday gifts, food baskets, clothing, and more to those in need.
Lighthouse is incredibly thankful to have partners like St. Regis who go above and beyond to help their local community!