October 2012 Newsletter

Dear friend of Loaves & Fishes,

Finally there’s the slightest nip in the air early in the morning. Sacramento’s fall is a subtle one, very unlike the glorious ones back East or at higher elevations. A certain prevailing brownness, piles of leaves, a very welcome drop in temperatures, a long awaited reprieve from summer’s searing sun. Here at Loaves & Fishes, the impending approach of winter leads us to ask for warm gloves (the simple stretchy one size fits all kind) and knit hats (all sizes from babies to men’s XL).

Loaves & Fishes Guests

Each gift that you go out of your way to make or purchase and deliver to Loaves & Fishes serves two purposes. First, the “thing” itself is useful, for instance warm gloves for someone who is actually living outside. Secondly, such a gift lets the recipient know that he is not forgotten, that someone cares about him and his well-being. When you are homeless, perhaps unkempt, someone from whom passersby avert their gaze and quicken their step, receiving such an individual gift is a wonderful rarity.

“Louisa” is a regular guest at Maryhouse. She is very petite, very mentally ill and won’t answer questions or respond to even the gentlest greeting. She has, so far, resisted all staff efforts to get her mental health services or shelter, but she very quietly spends a great deal of time at Maryhouse. She hand- delivered a sealed envelope containing $1.16 in coins to the Maryhouse front counter. The return address space said, “God is love.” It was addressed to “Administration, Maryhouse” and marked “For: Birthdays, milk, sewing class, clothing and info.” The things she most appreciates Maryhouse for.

Maryhouse struggles to provide services to all homeless women –mentally ill women who sleep outdoors in nooks and crannies like Louisa, very young mothers with babies and toddlers, street women with tough exteriors and a lifetime of abuse inside, women who’ve lost their jobs and then their apartments and never ever imagined they would find themselves homeless. More and more women are coming to Maryhouse for help – in just one month, the number of breakfasts served jumped by 400 – that’s an increase of 18 women a day. Thankfully, Maryhouse still manages to be a true refuge for women like Louisa as well as a font of practical advice, diapers, underwear and toiletries. The opportunity to sit down one on one with a knowledgeable, concerned staff member is priceless when you’re homeless.

Your financial support, in any amount, literally keeps Maryhouse’s door open to welcome that eighteenth additional woman at breakfast. Each of our programs has the same challenge; Mustard Seed School had a record breaking 45 children enrolled in September. Will you please make whatever contribution you can? We are very grateful for your help and we promise we will keep trying to build up Louisa’s trust so that she will finally accept the help that Maryhouse can give her and move into a program that will house her and hold her safe.

Peace and Love

Loaves & Fishes

   

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Street Address:
1351 North C. St.
Sacramento, CA 95811

PO Box 13495
Sacramento, CA 95813

Phone: 916-446-0874
Fax: 916-446-0875

Email: info@sacloaves.org

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