PITTSBURG, Kans. — A Southeast Kansas ministry that helps feed the poor is celebrating a milestone.
Mary Kate Sullivan has been a volunteer at Wesley House since the day the ministry opened 40 years ago. In fact, she was part of a committee at her church, First United Methodist in Pittsburg, that started the organization and she couldn’t be more proud of the thousands of people it has helped.
“Oh yes, really pleased and it’s amazing how it’s changed over time, first it was just a little congregation and of course we’ve always had a Methodist Minister working with them and then we realized what need there was,” said Sullivan.
Hillary Houston is the executive director and says the need for their services has never been more important than it is right now.
“So we have a daytime shelter for the homeless that come in and we provide two meals a day and then they have a case manager here that kind of helps them figure out how they need to get housed, and then we have laundry and showering and everything they need and they can take a nap or do whatever they need to do to stay healthy and safe on the streets,” said Houston.
“And you provide services for seniors as well?” asked KSN’s Stuart Price, reporting.
“Yes we have a senior box program, the Senior Box Program, the Kansas Food Bank and it’s once a month and we deliver that to the vehicles um as they drive through,” said Houston.
“What’s the need for that been lately?” asked Price.
“We’ve seen an increase since the start of COVID and we’ve had some seniors that have aged into that bracket and they’ve been able to participate in that box and they can also still come into the pantry as well if they need to so they’re getting a little extra food that way,” said Houston.
And Houston says virtually all of the families that come in for food baskets are part of the working poor, where one or both parents have jobs but don’t make enough to make ends meet on their own.