By: Lucas Packer
The IU South Bend men's basketball team used their Black Friday morning not to shop, but to volunteer at the Center for the Homeless (CFH), which is located in downtown South Bend. The Center is in its 24th year of operation and despite what some may think, is not a homeless shelter. While they have provided more than 700,000 safe nights and over 1.5 million meals to more than 45,000 men, women and children since their opening in December 1988, their focus is on providing not just life-saving, but life-changing services to each of their guests. Their innovative service model offers homeless families and individuals an on-site structured, step-by-step process to achieve and maintain self-sufficiency. This revolutionary program relies on partnerships with every sector of the community and has been endorsed by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
The Center also relies heavily on the volunteer involvement of the local community. In fact, during a typical month more than 400 people volunteer their time at the CFH. It was with that in mind that the Titans offered their services today, serving lunch to the guests and helping with some other small jobs around the Center. Even though their time today represents just a small part of the help the CFH needs year-round, it was a special trip for the guys, who were proud to be involved. For those interested in volunteering their own time, or perhaps interested in donating clothes, furniture, or non-perishable food items, the Center for the Homeless can be reached at (574) 282-8700 or you can contact them through their website, which is found at www.cfh.net. Dr. Peter Lombardo, who was the men's gracious host today, is the Director of Community Involvement at the Center and he can be contacted directly by calling (574) 282-8700 ext 81322 or by email at [email protected]