Thursday, June 26, 2008

Numbers Tell a Shocking Tale

Deacon Gil Nadeau has become an advocate for our soup kitchen guests. He met with staff at the Resource Center for Independent Living (RCIL), and this past Wednesday RCIL sent an outreach team to Mother Marianne’s West Side Kitchen to see the need first hand.

The team did a survey of 62 of the guests, and 10 actually filled out an RCIL questionnaire, with five of them accompanying staffers back to RCIL for follow-up assistance.

“This has been a very humbling experience for all of us,” one RCIL staffer told Deacon Gil.

She shared the results of the survey. Of the 62 guests interviewed:

-- 49 (or 70 %) needed employment.
-- 41 (66 %) needed help with food.
-- 40 (65 %) needed clothing.
-- 33 (53 %) needed assistance with transportation.
-- 21 (34 %) needed medical help.
-- 17 (27 %) needed shelter.
-- 14 (23 %) expressed the need for counseling.
-- 13 (21 %) needed help with the cost of utilities.

While the numbers confirm our belief that we are serving the homeless, the jobless, and the working poor, it’s still shocking. At least 17 of our guests are living on the streets. At least 49 do not have jobs. And 21 need medical care.

And those are just the ones who were interviewed. We’re now seeing 60 to 80 guests a day, and as many as 110 on some days.