Friends,

I hope this letter finds each of you staying safe, rediscovering family time, quiet prayer life and if in adversity, strengthening your ties to our Lord. I have been able to spend time with my family, more time in prayer and Bible study. Fr. Longenecker asked me to write an update about the work we are doing as a community serving those in need in Greenville.

Mother Teresa House has been closed to guests since the outbreak of Covid-19, however, we still receive phone calls, and we respond as best we can, even if it is just bringing food and toiletries to the homeless. We are working with the greater community of service providers who are all experiencing the same barriers of no contact, but still offering what services they can. Financial assistance for rent and utilities has been suspended for most agencies with only a few that are still able to operate minimally via phone. We have a group working with veterans utilizing new funding to help them stay in their homes by covering rent and utilities. For both those wishing to help, and those needing help, it has been difficult and frustrating.

There are many bright spots for the future and some challenges we will need to meet. Although we do not ever normally support paying for hotel rooms, in these times when folks lost their jobs only due to the outbreak, a fund was created to help cover hotel stays until we are past this immediate crisis. Since we are located near many of the local hotels, we have been active in that mission, and we have two agencies screening to make sure the need is Covid-19 related. Even though the utility companies are not turning off services, many folks are not getting the help they need and will face much larger bills when this is over. Yes, some folks will mismanage the income and stimulus they do receive, but many will still find themselves behind, sometimes for the first time. We have an entire community of service providers all working together, doing what we can to help people not fall through the cracks.

Many folks have been economically impacted, and if you need help, please do not hesitate to call the parish office or Mother Teresa House. Through our wonderful St. Vincent de Paul Society, you can get food and/or financial assistance. Mother Teresa House can provide guidance on what resources still available in Greenville to help. MercyWorks is a local charity founded by OLR parishioners that can help with financial assistance, especially to OLR parishioners in need right now.

Here is how you can help us continue our mission. For those who have not been economically impacted, we ask you to dig a little deeper and support one of these 3 organizations financially, so we have the funding we need to help. Every little bit helps.

May God keep you and your family safe and may we all walk closer with Him.

In Christ,

Chris Loewer

Director of Outreach and Mother Teresa House