Mission in the Community St. Luke's, Columbia's Fresh Start Program
On October 14, 2016, St. Luke’s began a new ministry called Fresh Start. It was our mission to provide free laundry services, showers, clothing and food for the area’s homeless population and working poor. Since opening, our services have expanded to include free HIV testing, dental care, bus tickets, diapers, furniture, and household items. In less than a year, we have served more than 560 different people and average between 70 – 80 people each day of operation. We currently serve our clients each Thursday from 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. and on the second and fourth Saturdays, also from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. In addition, our Saturday ministry includes a full noontime meal.
AIDS Healthcare Foundation has partnered with us on the first Thursday of each month. On those days, we provide and advocacy event for clients and community partners on a variety of topics, including health issues and other concerns. AHF provides a lunch for all in the attendance at no charge. We are also partnering with the Columbia Oral Health Clinic, who is providing free dental care and dentures for our clients. Each Thursday, Mother Jill+ conducts a noontime prayer and healing service. The needs the clients being before the altar are beyond words. When God put the call in my heart to begin this ministry, I never could have imagined where we would be today.
St. Luke's needs your help! Fresh Start is looking for volunteers to assist with easy tasks such as handing out items from the clothes closet, helping in the food pantry, and folding laundry. For more information, don’t hesitate to call St. Luke’s at (803) 254-2327 or contact the Rev. Deacon Dianna Deaderick at [email protected] or Anne Hayslip at [email protected].
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