EAST ST. LOUIS - The Belleville Council of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul celebrated the renovation of its outreach ministry in East St. Louis Saturday. The charity provides a place for those in need to share company and enjoy a hot meal.
“We serve a new meal 6 days a week,” said Executive Director Patricia Hogrebe. “We open at 10:30 in the morning because people are hungry and we serve lunch for three hours.”
The renovations were completed in large part due to various labor organizations lending a helping hand.
“They were right there when we needed them,” said Hogrebe.
Otis Williams, Jr. was one of the clients who attended Saturday’s open house. He said without the ministry he would likely have nowhere to turn to for help.
“They try their best to help people,” he said.
In some cases, help comes in the form of helping visitors track down their birth certificate so they can obtain a driver’s license or another form of identification.
“A lot of it is enabling them to help themselves and to find a job or to find some other way to help themselves,” said Council Vice President Joseph Hubbard.
The work is all part of the Society’s mission. Hogrebe said, “Our main goal is to stay Christ centered and to live that out in our own lives and be an example to everyone we come in contact with.”