CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Each morning, many of those in our city who are either homeless or who are simply facing a setback in life, gather at the Mother Teresa Shelter for breakfast.
Located at 513 Sam Rankin Ave. just across the parking lot from City Hall, the shelter -- which is overseen by Catholic Charities -- has become a place that provides a much-needed respite for some.
Before they gather at 8 a.m., those who show up must agree to be searched for drug paraphernalia and weapons. Although a few resist, most are happy to comply.
Once they are allowed entrance, they begin the day with a brief meditation and prayer led, in part, by those who make up the audience.
Most who are here to be fed, are also known and greeted by name.
While many choose to leave after the meal, others choose to remain and become registered clients of the Mother Teresa Day Shelter -- and for good reason.
By providing a valid ID and agreeing to a simple TB test, those who are over the age of 18 are granted access to showers and the use of the laundry facilities -- with towels and detergent provided. Not only that, they also get a mailing address, a locker in which to keep their belongings, and are given telephone privileges -- making it easier to call and let someone know that they are okay.
Each person also receives a clean change of seasonally appropriate clothing, a pair of shoes and in some cases, help obtaining medical care.
Another hot meal is served at 10:30 a.m. followed by an afternoon snack at 2 p.m.
Over at the activity center, there is a large recreation area for those who enjoy participating in sports.
Clients are able to fill their time with other recreational pursuits, including games and gardening, magazines and music. There is also instruction in reading and writing, as well as the opportunity to participate in AA and Anger Management support groups. Art classes are available for those who are so inclined, with the results being prominently and proudly displayed on the walls.
Those who are able, are encouraged to spend some of their time looking for jobs before the day shelter closes each weekday afternoon at 4 p.m. Computers and email accounts are available to aid in the job search, and bus tokens are given to help clients get to various appointments on time.
Of course, donations always are needed for an endeavor like this. Not just monetary, but also donations of paper goods, laundry detergent, canned goods, coffee and creamer, pancake mix and syrup.
To help, call (361) 883-7372.
To learn more, visit motherteresashelter.org.