“We are diligently working to do all things necessary so that we can open our Madison Street site as soon as possible,” the statement said about the meal program that has been in existence for 28 years “through the dedicated work of our volunteers, who work tirelessly in serving the lonely and forgotten.”

The Madison Street site closed Friday, Jan. 7 after the evening meal, according to Jan Johnson, public relations manager for SVDP, who told your Catholic Herald that one employee was arrested Friday.

Meal guests are being directed to the North Side location and alternative sites in the community until the South Side site reopens, according to the statement. Johnson said signs have been posted on the doors to direct the working poor and homeless who frequent that meal site to alternative locations. The approximately 25 to 40 volunteers who Johnson said helped serve dinner each night are also being directed to offer their service at the North Side location.
Johnson said perishable food will either be used at the other location or placed in cold storage.

Fischer’s statement assured that SVDP will continue to clothe, feed and provide social support to those in need.
“When we reopen our doors, we will offer even more outreach programs aimed at helping the newly homeless as well as those who have been on the streets for some time,” the statement said of what Johnson explained would be two or three new programs that will, in general, focus on health prevention and screenings, job counseling and addressing issues like alcohol abuse.

“Our hearts really go out to those that we’ve not been able to serve and we really just hope that very, very soon we can get back in and continue to do the good work that we do there,” Johnson said.

“St. Vincent de Paul greatly appreciates the continuing support, commitment and compassion of our volunteers and all of those in the community who assist through the meal site program,” Fischer said in her statement. “Together, we will continue to bring hope and positive change to the lives of those we serve.”