Student-run organization provides food to Cleveland’s homeless

Gabrielle Buffington, Staff Reporter

Thanksgiving has come and gone, but the generous nature of the holiday is still lingering at Case Western Reserve University. One particular student group on campus, the Labre Homeless Outreach Ministry, gives students the opportunity to give back and help Cleveland’s homeless.

The program runs all year round. Students go out every week they can, distributing food for 48 of 52 weeks last year. Currently, six students come together each Monday evening to give those in need a hot meal and some good conversation.

The program is named after Saint Benedict Joseph Labre, the Catholic patron saint of the homeless.

The volunteers of the Labre Program sometimes start the evening with a prayer to Saint Benedict Joseph Labre at 5:45 p.m., and then the group heads out at 6 p.m. to distribute meals and any other essentials to the needy. They stop at 18 sites and feed between 20 and 25 people a night.

“Labre is a unique service opportunity as our group goes to where homeless individuals are staying,” said Thomas McKenna, the group’s vice president. “This allows students to really understand what these individuals go through in their day to day lives.”

“We spend so much time with these individuals that we are able to build lasting relationships, which is not always the case with service opportunities,” he added.

Volunteers interested in getting involved with the Labre Program have to attend a program orientation. More information can be found on the Center for Civic Engagement and Learning’s web page or the ministry’s Facebook page.