Our Daily Bread feeds the body, spirit and soul

September 22, 2015

HOUSTON — For close to three decades, Our Daily Bread, one of 60 ministries supported by the Diocesan Services Fund (DSF) of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, has provided a comfortable facility for homeless men, women and children in Galveston. 

Through programs offered to help break the cycle of homelessness, including nutritious meals, support groups, clothing, hygiene articles, referral and education, its staff and volunteers take the Lord’s words to heart: “‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?’ And the king will say to them in reply, ‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.’” (Mt. 25:37-40) 

According to Linda Coleman, director of Our Daily Bread, they are committed to upholding the dignity of each person served. They work together to encourage and empower those seeking help to make positive choices, to seek treatment for mental, emotional or addictive disorders, and to develop a plan of action and a network of community support. Licensed counselors, social workers, nurses and other skilled professionals create a specialized plan of action to meet each individual’s needs, with many resources provided by Our Daily Bread and others within the Gulf Coast Community.

Each day, Our Daily Bread serves approximately 50 to 75 people who are homeless in the Galveston area. This includes two meals — breakfast and lunch — separated into two groups per day. In addition to the meals, people seeking employment and assistance for substance abuse, behavioral health and medical issues come to the shelter seeking assistance.

“Over the 15 years that I have been at Our Daily Bread, I have seen an increase in people who are homeless, including a 5-percent increase in veterans and a 10-percent increase in women receiving services,” Coleman said. “Also, there are more people with behavioral health issues who need medication. We have continued contracting with a telepsychiatry program so these persons are able to receive services and get the medication they need sooner.”

This year, a medical clinic was formed at Our Daily Bread under the direction of Sister Ricca Dimalibot, CCVI, M.D., who also is the medical director at the CHRISTUS Point of Light Clinic.

“It has been a blessing for the people we serve as it has afforded them with the opportunity to get medical assistance they need,” Coleman said. “We are a staff of six people and we heavily depend on volunteers and could use more at this time. There are no specialized or license requirements to volunteer; just a passion for helping others in need.”

One volunteer, Becky Adam, came to Our Daily Bread to help in the kitchen with volunteers from Mary Queen Catholic Church in Friendswood six months ago. After helping in the kitchen a few times, she wanted more interaction with the clients, so she spoke to Coleman about opportunities to serve in this capacity.

“Linda told me there was a need for a volunteer at the front desk, and I accepted since I enjoy interacting with the clients,” Adam said. “I am saddened to see them struggle to get through the day, and I get attached and miss them when they progress out of the program. It feels wonderful to be a part of a ministry that helps so many people become independent again.”

Adam’s main duties include answering the phone, welcoming clients, checking them in for lunch, signing them in for counseling appointments and handing out their mail. 

“I want the clients to feel welcome,” Adam said. “I want them to feel they are not forgotten and someone cares about them.”