The everyday nature of grace


During the holidays, most Americans are worried about over-consumption -- too much food, gifts, drink -- not the problem of not having enough.

At the Franciscan Center, having too little is a constant issue as volunteers and staff labor to help poor people get life's necessities -- a warm winter coat for a child, a pair of work boots for a newly employed laborer or a hot lunch for a family with no utilities at home.

This fall, the Franciscan Center celebrated its 30th anniversary and opened the $3.4 million day center at 101 W. 23rd St. The center more than doubled its space by moving from two nearby rowhouses and the Francis House convent.

Its new location, in a renovated school building, offers free daily lunches to 500 people, up from 300 a day over the past year.

While at the center, clients can also receive clothing, emergency financial assistance, groceries, counseling and help for people with AIDS or the virus that causes AIDS.

By offering one-stop services for qualified needy people, the center hopes to relieve some of the pain of being poor.

To contribute to the Franciscan Center, call 410-467-5340.

Pub Date: 12/28/98

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