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Will There Be Room for People Seeking Shelter?

Families with basic needs are knocking at the Catholic Worker’s door on Kelly Avenue in Half Moon Bay for housing, but there’s no room to accommodate them.

By Eric DeBode

Jose and Yolanda have lived in Half Moon Bay for over 15 years. Last Christmas they found themselves unable to pay their rent after the economic downturn and the arrival of their new baby, Marcos. Jose, a carpenter/construction worker, was only finding odd jobs, and worked everywhere and anywhere, including washing dishes at local restaurants.

Yolanda remained steadfast, humble, and dedicated to caring for their children, and searched for a home, despite many pressures. They moved to a garage in the East Bay for a few months, seeking cheaper housing, but Jose commuted to Half Moon Bay every day for work.

They eventually came back and continued to come to our breakfasts at Kelly Avenue Catholic Worker at 160 Kelly Ave. in Half Moon Bay, and we passed along donated beds for the children, food and clothing. We asked everyone we knew about rentals, and we did what we could to support them.

Miracles happen. Thanks to their steadfastness, faith, and the support, they have found housing after an 8-month search, and have a home for their children this Christmas.

As we remember the Holy Family searching for a place to safely stay and give birth to baby Jesus, we can’t help but recall the context; the economic hard times, the imposition of heavy burdens on the poor, and an exhausted and frightened family, finally settling for a barn in which to give birth.

There are families today, in Half Moon Bay, who are frightened, seeking safety, and struggling to raise their children in this desperate economy, who live in garages. Who will hear the cries of the poor?

Here at the Kelly Avenue Catholic Worker in Half Moon Bay, families with basic needs are knocking at our door: Do we have space? Is there food? Are there diapers? We serve food and hand out fresh produce several times each week, as well as clothing and other household items. The reason we don’t currently have space to do hospitality in our house is because our community has grown, and we are expecting two new interns in January.

With this expansion of our Catholic Worker Community, we are trying to purchase a second Catholic Worker house in Half Moon Bay. This will allow us to re-open a three-bedroom House of Hospitality for homeless families with a bathroom, kitchen and living room. As needs grow, so must our response. Will you help?

We desperately need to make room at the inn. We need donations, large and small, so families in need can have something better than a barn or a garage.

As we near the New Year we are dreaming of help to open …

  • a hospitality space at our house.
  • a drop-in center for the homeless.
  • a toiletries closet so people can easily get the basics.

Mail donations to 160 Kelly Avenue, Half Moon Bay, CA, 94019, or call 650-726-6621. If you would like to make a large contribution, but want to meet first, please call 650-458-7907 to schedule a time to have coffee.

Eric DeBode is a member of the Kelly Avenue Catholic Worker in Half Moon Bay.

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