In the summer of 1982 Helen Martien, a parishioner at St. John’s had a vision for a soup kitchen in one of the poorest communities in Baltimore City and the nation, Washington Village/Pigtown. In September 1982, Paul’s Place began serving soup and sandwiches twice a week. Today, Paul’s Place is a full-service family support center with more than 20 programs, helping families and individuals to address the obstacles to their stability. Hundreds of lives are improved every day at Paul’s Place through counseling, tutoring, mentoring, nurses’ consults, job training and other support programs.
The mission of Paul’s Place is to be a catalyst and leader for change, improving the quality of life in the Washington Village/Pigtown neighborhood and the surrounding Southwest Baltimore communities. Paul’s Place provides programs, services, and support that strengthen individuals and families, fostering hope, personal dignity and growth.
St. John’s continues to be involved in Paul’s Place ministry after more than 30 years. A team of 14 prepares casseroles twice each month, a team of 22 serves the noon-day meal twice a month, and more than 25 volunteers help with a week-long summer camp for young people at Paul’s Place. In addition, parishioners donate gently-used clothing and collect food items. In the fall, we collect special food items for holiday distrubtion as well as gift items for the Christmas store at Paul’s Place. Two drivers deliver donated items to Paul’s Place throughout the year. The church also makes financial contributions to Paul’s Place and parishioners serve on committees and advisory groups.
Next: Learn about our involvement with the Paul’s Place Summer Camp.