The Pope Francis Center, located at 438 St. Antoine St. in Detroit, is serving an increasing number of guests as it continues modifying its day center operations to serve and protect Detroiters experiencing homelessness during the coronavirus crisis. This includes a growing number of families with children as schools are shuttered.
Beginning Wednesday, March 18, Pope Francis Center will offer guests respite from the weather from heated tents installed in the parking lot across from the facility along Larned. In coordination with the city of Detroit, Pope Francis Center staff will take guests’ temperature upon arrival and contact authorities for transport to a nearby coronavirus testing site or a quarantine center, as appropriate. Those without temperatures will be welcome into the tent – following Centers for Disease Control social distancing protocols – between 7 – 11 a.m.
Earlier this week, the center shifted from communal indoor dining to distributing its same, nutritious meals street side in individual pre-boxed servings, which guests can also eat outdoors at recommended distances from one another. Meals are served between 7:30 – 9:30 a.m.
Additionally, to help Detroiters experiencing homelessness follow critical handwashing guidelines established by the CDC, the nonprofit is supervising four port-a-johns and four portable wash stations near the center’s St. Antoine Street entrance, accessible 24 hours a day.
“As the number of support programs begins to dwindle across Detroit for individuals experiencing homelessness, we’re beginning to see many new faces here at the Pope Francis Center, including children,” said Executive Director Father Tim McCabe. “Coupled with the drop in surplus food from restaurants and other community sources that we depend upon to feed our guests two nutritious meals a day, six days a week, this spike in need is taxing our already lean budget. We are committed to staying open and making sure all who come to us are fed. Increased donations from our generous community will help ensure we meet this basic need for our guests.”
As a 501C3 nonprofit organization, donations to the Pope Francis Center are tax-deductible
o Visiting www.popefranciscenter.org
o Calling (313) 963-5134
o Sending a check to: 438 St. Antoine St., Detroit, MI 48226