Column: Catholic Charities serves up necessities with hospitality, hope

Inside Catholic Charities
Ken Williams is the director of Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas.

Ken Williams 

“There’s no room at the inn.”

“The guest room is full.”

“We have no place for you to stay.”

Imagine, after a long and tiresome journey, not having a place to lay your weary head.

Joseph and a very pregnant Mary had been turned away from every place they sought shelter. Tired, and perhaps a little discouraged, they were met with the kindness of a stranger who offered the couple shelter in a stable. The rest, as they say, is history.

Over 2,000 years later, the compassionate volunteers, employees and supporters at Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas are helping those who seek shelter find a place they can call home.

It was a seasonably cool morning when Tiffany, a single mother with two young daughters and a newborn son, walked through the doors of our Emergency Assistance center in Topeka.

Although Tiffany works a full-time job, she earns just a little more than minimum wage and struggles to pay her bills and keep her children fed. After falling behind on her rent, she was evicted from her apartment, forcing the family to move in with her mother in a now-cramped one-bedroom apartment.

Even her belongings, which were placed into storage, were lost when she couldn’t afford the storage unit fee.

Discouraged, and perhaps a little tired, she was met with the kindness of a Catholic Charities case manager who helped her secure an apartment, pay her first month’s rent and replace the bedding for the entire family. She was given an ample supply of diapers and many other items from our food pantry.

Even more than the basic necessities, Catholic Charities provided Tiffany with hospitality and hope.

The birth of Jesus brought hope to a whole nation. As he lay in the manger, I’m sure Mary and Joseph gazed upon his face with love. He came to us as a child — small and vulnerable — in a makeshift shelter and wrapped in swaddling clothes.

Through every corporal work of mercy made, we, too, are given the opportunity to offer hope to our brothers and sisters in need. It is up to us to see the face of Jesus in each one of them, in each one of us.

With your continued support, Catholic Charities is able to feed the hungry, clothe the naked and provide shelter to the homeless.

With your help, we might never have to say, “There’s no room at the inn.”

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