You don't realize how valuable the day shelters are in the community until they are closed for renovations. This week the Bishop Cosgrove Center is closed until July 18 to put in some much needed renovations of the kitchen area in place for the 20th anniversary. Cosgrove Center was opened in 1994, and they have a series of events this year culminating in the fifth Hand Up Gala in October.
On Friday August 22, they are having a Mass and reception at 3 p.m at St. Peter's Church celebrated by Bishop Richard Lennon to mark 20 years. The Cosgrove is asking those who plan to attend to RSVP to Kimberly Miller by calling 216/781-8262. The program has served millions of meal and hundreds of thousands of individuals over the last 20 years. There are thousands of volunteers (both corporate and religious) who have served a meal at the Bishop Cosgrove Center over the last few decades. They give out identification and assist people to find affordable housing. They help with pantry food to the neighbors who are struggling to pay the bills. They are always available with a shoulder to cry or some sound advice on where to find help. At one time, the women's shelter was at Cosgrove and for a little over a year they were offering a dinner a the Cosgrove. They serve a vital function within the landscape of Cleveland.
We had the Homeless Congress meeting today with a light crowd because the Cosgrove was closed and we were stood up again by City Councilwoman Phyllis Cleveland. The Community Centers, Libraries and Hands On NEO volunteers have been helping to provide food and a space for people normally at Cosgrove Center. They have also seen a large number of families using the day shelter services this summer, and staff have been trying negotiate peace among all the different guests using the facility. Sharon, the chef at Cosgrove, serves around 85 breakfasts and around 180 lunches everyday. The provide a cooling center in the summer and a place out of the snow every weekday during the winter. Cosgrove staff host really nice meals for some of the major holidays, and we look forward to them reopening after the renovation. They don't get enough credit or appreciation, but I know that homeless and low income people care deeply about the Cosgrove Center.
by Brian Davis
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