Spring 2013 Issue 22 DDB Mission: Feed the hungry & provide services for the homeless of Harrisburg. Inside This Issue: • 30th Anniversary Gala • Probe Award • New DDB Staff • Advisory Board Update • DDB Client Stories • Wish List
Downtown Daily Bread 310 N. Third Street Harrisburg PA 17101 www.downtowndailybread.org
Elaine Strokoff Executive Director 717-238-4717 Brenda Ervin Kitchen Manager 717-238-4718 Kobie White Weekend Cook 717-238-4718 Christine Patrick Client Counselor 717-238-4718 Cynthia Swanson Mental Health Outreach Counselor 717-238-4718 Alexander Lang DDB Webservant Linda McGuire Newsletter Editor
From The Director
I see homeless people everywhere. Is it because of what I do professionally? It seems that I have a more keen sense of what to look for than most people. I see the human form under the pile of cardboard and debris before any one else. I see the potential for human habitat under a swaying blanket anchored by cinder blocks and a shopping cart. I can spot a homeless man or woman sitting on a city street bench, sleeping in the library, or digging for aluminum cans before my companions. I am well aware of the human condition of homelessness. It is the work I do and it follows me wherever I go. Over the past few months I visited my children in San Francisco, California; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and Louisville, Kentucky. The homeless must have followed me there. I saw them everywhere. They camped along piers, bridges, on city streets, on park benches, beside fancy restaurants, beside run down bars, outside of playgrounds, and in the city squares. They huddled around homeless missions (which I try to locate) and around social service agencies designed to help the poor. No matter where I go, either in this country or abroad, I always see the homeless. I suspect they do not follow me. I know that they live everywhere. It is just that I cannot help but look at them. To me, they are not invisible. I try to imagine their lives and I think about what must have propelled them into the state of “not belonging.” Sometimes the answer appears to be obvious, but in reality it never is that clear. I suspect that I will be looking out for the homeless for the rest of my life. I also suspect that the homeless will always be among us. All the best,
Elaine Thanks to all of our dedicated volunteers who have helped us over the past 30 years. In recognition of April having been National Volunteer Month, we honored our volunteers in The Patriot News. We hope you saw the ad. It was dedicated to YOU.
We welcome your suggestions, comments, and feedback. Quote:
“Volunteers don’t get paid, not because they’re worthless, but because they are priceless.” Sherry Anderson, Arkansas Dept. of Human Services Division of Volunteerism Director
Did You Know? DDB served 40,450 meals in 2012. Annual average is 40,500. We have 30 clients daily who are using our showers, all lockers are in use, and we currently have 15 clients on the waiting list.
SAVE THE DATE!
30th Anniversary Gala “Celebrate & Educate!” Sunday, October 6th 5:00PM Special Guest, Dinner, Entertainment, and More! On March 10, 2013, Pine Street Presbyterian Church hosted a luncheon to Kick Off a year long celebration of the 30th Anniversary of Downtown Daily Bread. The luncheon was attended by members of Pine Street, friends, and Downtown Daily Bread volunteers from several other participating churches. It was a lovely afternoon of fellowship and celebration of the mission of Downtown Daily Bread and the growth of the program. Brenda Ervin, long time DDB cook, was honored for her many years of service and devotion to the soup kitchen. Thank you to the 30th Anniversary Luncheon Committee and to everyone who made the luncheon a success.
30TH ANNIVERSARY GALA! Sunday, October 6th 5:00pm Harrisburg Hilton Who knew that in 1983 when the soup kitchen was started in the gym of the Boyd building that it would be going strong in 2013? What were the pastors and volunteers thinking in 1983 when there were a handful of clients and a only a few participating churches? What were their thoughts when volunteers planned and cooked the meals? Could they have envisioned a modern, bright kitchen and dining room such as we now have? Could they have imagined a staff with a full time and weekend cook, two counselors, and a director? Would they have dreamt of a “Lunch Plus” program that included showers, clothing, mail service, haircuts, etc? Could they have dreamt that DDB would own a van that would take clients to jobs not on the bus route or of DDB partnerships across the entire city which benefit the homeless? Would you like to know the answer to these and other questions? If so, then please mark your calendar for an evening of “Education and Celebration” on Sunday, October 6, 2013 at 5:00pm at the Harrisburg Hilton. The featured speaker for this special anniversary event will be the Rev. Dr. Fred Anderson of the Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church, New York City. Dr. Anderson was the Pastor at Pine Street Presbyterian Church in 1983 when DDB was conceived. He is a dynamic, inspirational speaker with his own special connection to Downtown Daily Bread. We are delighted to welcome Dr. Anderson back to Harrisburg for this memorable event. Ticket information will be forthcoming. Please Note: Committee volunteers
are still needed.
You Can Be A Part Of It… 30th Anniversary Gala sponsorship opportunities are now available. Celebrate 30 years of Downtown Daily Bread success & enable DDB to grow by becoming a sponsor for the 30th Anniversary “Celebrate & Educate” Gala. Name of Sponsor___________________________________ Address __________________________________________ _________________________________________________ Phone _______________________________
Sponsorship Level: ____ Event ($10,000) ____ ($5,000) ____($2500) ____ ($1000) ___ Patron ($500) ___ Patron ($250)
____ Check Enclosed $_________ Checks payable to: Downtown Daily Bread, 310 N. Third St., Harrisburg, PA 17101 Downtown Daily Bread is a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization.
PROBE Award Recipient We are proud to announce that DDB Executive Director, Elaine Strokoff was honored with the PROBE Award on March 22, 2013. PROBE, Potential Reentry Opportunities In Business and Education, is a non-profit that specializes in career preparation programs for women, such as single parents and people in transition, to help their return to the workplace. PROBE Director, Kathy Verna, presented the Dr. Kathryn Towns Founders Award to Elaine at PROBE’s 35th Anniversary breakfast. Congratulations, Elaine! My Brother, Francis Bacon by Mary Rosenkrans Most people’s stereotype of a homeless person is that they are dirty, drunk, rude, standing in lines for handouts, uneducated, and mentally ill. My brother Francis “Fran” Bacon fit that description at times, and yet there was much more than a passing glance might tell you if you saw him on the streets of Harrisburg. Francis was born July 10, 1956, the youngest of four children— three boys and one girl—I was Francis’ older sister. Francis was two years old when our father died of cirrhosis of the liver. I don’t know that Francis had many memories of our father. My father had mental health issues—which is why he drank—but he was also brilliant. And so was Francis. The principal at our local parochial school realized early that Francis and my two other brothers needed a better education than what they could get in our small coal mining town. So the boys were sent to Milton Hershey School once they reached the age of 12. The school at that time was only open to boys who had lost one or both parents. My mother and I later moved to Hershey so we could live closer to my brother. Francis graduated from Milton Hershey School with a full scholarship to Cornell University. At the same time his life-long struggle with bipolar disorder hit and he left college after only one year. In spite of his inherited mental illness, Francis never stopped learning. He also never felt sorry for himself and created a life on the street and made it his community. Elaine Strokoff and the people at Downtown Daily Bread were part of that community. It wasn’t just the food, which is so critical when you are hungry and poor, but it was also the respect he was given and friendships that he developed that became a lifeline for him. Downtown Daily Bread also helped Francis order books and had them shipped to the Downtown Daily Bread address because he didn’t an address of his own. When Francis was missing due to his mental state and issues with alcoholism, DDB posted a sign and picture of him asking if anyone had seen him. DDB gave Francis clothing when he was in need and treated him to the organ recitals and luncheons at Pine Street during the Lenten season. There were many, many others in the non-profit community that were kind to my brother, as well. My brothers and I knew very little of this kindness. We are grateful and thankful to all. At his funeral, we heard that Francis was funny, a great story teller, smart, generous, and, most of all, kind. We are proud of him and take great comfort in knowing this now that he is gone. So the next time you pass a homeless person on the street, don’t make assumptions. Just show some kindness to someone’s brother, husband, uncle, or child. Everyone is deserving of a little kindness and respect.
Feeding Harrisburg’s hungry since 1983!
New Mental Health Outreach Counselor On January 30, 2013, I started working for Downtown Daily Bread as a staff assistant. My duties included assisting the DDB counselor, in activities involving the “Lunch Plus” Never A Typical Day… program, including showers, mail, and referrals. I also helped DDB Client Counselor, Chris Patrick, shares a recent the DDB director as needed. encounter at work: Over the past 20 years I have held a variety of human service A homeless man, “Sam” came into my office and positions, from senior crisis intervention counselor to more said he was sleeping on the streets. He broke down in recently, ten years with the Dauphin County Housing tears saying, “Please help me. I need a job and a Authority. These past experiences have prepared me to place to stay. I can’t take living on the streets perform the many varied tasks I have encountered everyday at anymore.” I did an intake on Sam and found that he Downtown Daily Bread. was a veteran and a registered sex offender. After Thanks to a grant from Dauphin County Mental Health/ checking numerous shelters, I learned that there Intellectual Disabilities, via the federal government, I will begin were none in our area that could accommodate fulltime in May 2013 as the Downtown Daily Bread Outreach him. Mental Health Coordinator. In this role, I will continue to However, I did hear of a faith-based homeless assist the DDB counselor “in house,” and I will be “out in the outreach ministry in upstate Pennsylvania called “Just field” as an outreach to those Dauphin County residents with mental health issues. These residents have often been referred for Jesus.” This ministry deals specifically with sex to as those who have “fallen between the cracks.” In my new offenders attempting to re-start their lives. I called position, I will be developing relationships that build a sense of the program and was told that a bed would be available for Sam the next day. That night Sam slept trust with the homeless and I will be working on connecting those individuals with mental health services. All of the in the alley behind Downtown Daily Bread. The next outreach is done with the goal of creating greater self day he showered and had lunch at DDB before sufficiency for each individual. boarding the van for his trip upstate. In my time with DDB, I have seen many of the “gaps” filled Sam called after a week at the shelter. He told me, with a hot meal, mailing address, a shower, and someone to “ I will be forever grateful to you and to Downtown help with problems and concerns. Now, with two full time Daily Bread for all of the help you gave me.” He is counselors, DDB will expand its services to meet the needs of doing well in the program and is very happy to be the mentally ill who wander our city streets. I look forward to “off the streets and to have a second chance at life.” the challenge. Cynthia Swanson DDB Mental Health Outreach Counselor Special congratulations and farewell to the Penn State Hershey College of Medicine doctors who volunteered at DDB. We say a huge “Thank You!” for the services you provided to our DDB clients and wish you much success in your professional journey. Thanks also to Cheryl Dellasega, PHD Professor of Humanities, Penn State College of Medicine for her role in coordinating the services provided from Hershey Medical students to DDB clients.
DDB Wish List Please consider donating these much needed items. .Lunch Plus Wish List
Immediate need: Gently-used spring and summer clothing for men & women. Clothing should be in good, clean condition not older than 3-5 years. Almost new men’s socks & underwear. Desperate need: Bars of soap, large and small or liquid soap for the showers. Always needed: Disposable razors, deodorant, shampoo, laundry detergent, women’s socks & underwear Kitchen Wish List #10 cans of soups, fruits, or vegetables; coffee; sugar; plastic forks and spoons; napkins; meats; turkeys; hams; and spices. Remember, financial support is always needed and appreciated. Please keep in mind that contributions are tax-deductible. Any contribution you can make will help us augment our income.
$2 pays for a meal. $10 = 5 meals, $50 = 25 meals, $100 = 50 meals
Two Cooks In The Kitchen Kobie White is the new weekend cook. He was trained by our very own Brenda Ervin and shares her recipes with a spin of his own. Kobie continues to work under Brenda’s supervision. He works weekends, holidays, and when Brenda is on vacation. Please give him a warm DDB welcome if you haven’t already met him.
Advisory Board Update We welcome new member, Carlyn Chulick, long-time DDB supporter. Carlyn worked on Share The Harvest 2012 and along with her husband, Frank, was a Share The Harvest sponsor. Carlyn knows the meaning of committee work and has already taken an active role as Co-Chair of the 30th Anniversary Gala. We gratefully recognize Carlyn’s commitment and enthusiasm to the DDB mission. We also want to extend our thanks and good-bye to long-time board member, Diane Jacobs of Paxton Presbyterian Church. We appreciate her many years of dedication and service to Downtown Daily Bread and wish her well. Last, we say a short-term good-bye to Lisa Landis who has temporarily relocated and is taking some time from the board to be with her new baby. We wish her all the best. Thanks to ACS (Art Communication Systems), for printing this newsletter. We are pleased to have a partnership with ACS! Harrisburg’s Premier Commercial Printing Service offers printing, graphic design, sales/marketing, & web development. Call Park Cook, ACS, @ 717-232-0144.
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