Grants Pass, Ore., — Only one soup kitchen in Grants Pass feeds the homeless and needy population in Josephine County.
Saint Vincent De Paul is in the main downtown area and it’s location can sometimes cause problems.
Now with the city’s help, it’s come up with a new solution.
The non-profit organization offers free lunch every day for those in need.
But with so many people there on a daily basis, they just don’t have the room or the blessing from neighbors.
So St. Vincent De Paul came up with the idea for a mobile soup kitchen.
“In the beginning of the month probably 70-80 meals, by the end of the month 150 meals.”
That’s the number of meals Saint Vincent De Paul in Grants Pass serves in one hour, every day, all year round.
But being in the main downtown area isn’t easy.
“No they don’t like us here. Because we’re on the main street coming in, and they feel that it affects people coming in the area.”
So with the Grants Pass Department of Public Safety’s help – the non profit is starting a mobile soup kitchen.
“There’d probably be anywhere 10 to 20 locations in and around the community, even outside the city where it would go on different days, so it’s not serving the same place every day.”
And while this helps keep the downtown area cleaner, it helps the people who are eating there too.
“It takes me two hours to walk from A Street to here.”
“They’ve had enough people here that I’ve seen a line from that gate all the way to the tree, this was covered – and it was filled inside, there isn’t enough room here.”
By taking the soup kitchen out of downtown it not only helps feed more people, but lessens the impact on the surrounding neighborhoods.
“My ideal situation is that we’re able to do both those of things, and everyone is happier for the success of what this will be.”
Saint Vincent De Paul already has funding for the first year from the city.
So if all goes as planned, it will have the mobile kitchen up and running by the end of this year and the downtown location will close.