Parish gives street families free, hot dinners
Fr. Roland Tuazon, Santuario de San Vicente de Paul parish priest
QUEZON City – A parish in Quezon City has been delivering hot evening meals to homeless families in different communities every week since early this year and has been helping them address the deeper roots of their poverty.
The hot meals are delivered to 50 heads on Saturdays early in the evening.
“Normally, we do it at 8 o’clock p.m. when a street family start to gather in one place to spend the night,” explained Fr. Roland Tuazon, Santuario de San Vicente de Paul parish priest.
The volunteers have also brought hot evening meals to homeless families that wander the streets near the parish and along Congressional Ave. and Mindanao Ave, said Rosalie Gico, a parish volunteer.
“Sometimes we bring dinner to the street families who sleep [under] the bridge along Congressional Ave. near Muñoz,” she said. “The dinner that we deliver is a decent meal that an average family eats at their table.”
At times, Tuazon himself drives the vehicle to deliver the plated food, Gico said.
The Muñoz area as well as Congressional and Mindanao avenues are actually not within the parish’s jurisdiction, but the volunteers bring dinner to street families in places that are within reach, explained the priest.
The parish had initially encouraged the street families to come to the church so they can eat and take a shower, he said. They had been invited several times to come over, but they did not show up.
“Our original target was not only providing food, but do a much better intervention,” he said. “If they want to return back to the province, we are going to facilitate that.”
When a street family comes for help, his team would investigate first because of a previous experience with someone who made money out of the parish’s financial assistance when he sold his bus ticket for a trip back to the province.
The parish can intervene for the street families and address specific needs like shelter and livelihood, he said. If the best solution is to help them return to the province, the parish can also facilitate it.
The hot dinner, fresh water, and drinks for homeless families was launched early this year to mark the 400th year of Vincentian Charism, Tuazon noted. CBCPNews