CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — It is not a particularly big operation.
Executive Director Kae Berry tells us there are three employees who oversee to the day-to-day operations of Timon's Ministries.
When it began nearly 20 years ago, there was only one. Much of the work is done with the help of volunteers.
What started as a 'sandwich ministry' facilitated by a local church, has grown into a day resource center that now offers, among other services, a Crisis Pantry. It provides groceries each month to those who live in the area and are not necessarily homeless, but who would be considered low- or no-income families. In addition, Timon's delivers groceries to the elderly or infirm who are unable to come to them.
By contrast, the lunchroom is open to anyone. Each day, five days a week, about 100 people show up to get a hot meal prepared by a man named Mark Baker. He began volunteering with Timon's about 10 years ago as a dishwasher. Now, the kitchen is his.
Baker himself used to be homeless.
Through the years, this charitable organization has evolved from being primarily a feeding station to becoming much more. In addition to laundry and shower facilities, it now offers a complement of health services -- including medical and eye care. And it's not just for the local community, but for all low- or no-income and non-insured individuals.
In order to offer proper medical care to those who need it, Berry says they have both a doctor and a nurse on contract. They have proven to be particularly helpful to those with diabetes.
The only requirement is that for Timon's to be able to supply you with medicine, or help you obtain an ID or even a birth certificate to aid in a job search, you have to pass a drug screen. It's something that Berry said is as close to an unbreakable rule as you will find.
"We can't ask you the taxpayer and law-abiding citizen to give us money, if we're just going to enable somebody," she said.
One other important part of the work of Timon's Ministries is its dental facility.
From the outside, it doesn't look like much; but step inside and you will find the capacity to care for three dental patients at a time, using equipment you might find when you visit your own dentist.
Berry speaks with pride when she talks about the difference offering dental services can make for any individual.
"One of the biggest things we've done here is that we have a dental clinic," she said. "We've had it since 2009 and we not only remove the teeth, but if we pull your teeth, we are going to get you dentures. We don't know of any other organization doing that. But that's the brightest day of the year, when somebody gets their new set of teeth delivered and they can smile and they can get a job. Their health will improve -- all kinds of things."
Unfortunately, they are only able to use this facility to offer complete dental services about once a month. The reason? They cannot find enough dentists who will volunteer their time.
And "volunteer" is the key word.
Timon's is funded by churches and individuals, along with grants and fundraisers. But they also rely on the generosity of others.
If you would like to help, they would like to hear from you.
To find out more, visit www.TimonsMinistries.com or call (361) 937-6196.