By Phil Telfeyan
7-2-9: We are not meeting in person this year and won’t until St. Elizabeth’s allows its residents to participate in community programs. So St. E’s calling the shots.
Instead of in-person programing, we’re planning to send gifts and cards to our members at St. E’s on Christmas, Valentine’s Day (the 7-2-9 anniversary, now in year 42), and mid-June (when our annual picnic normally occurs).
Triangle Park: World Central Kitchen stopped giving us food at the end of September, so we no longer have any food service during the week. But the BID still serves 175 sandwiches Monday through Friday in Triangle Park.
Radcliffe Room: On Sundays, our volunteers make sandwiches, bagels, and coffee. We also pass out donated pastries, underwear, toiletries, shoes, and clothes (we still need men’s clothes as well as winter coats). We serve from 11am to 1pm on Sundays (same as the BID’s weekday hours). About 170 guests and 10 volunteers come every Sunday.
James Dandridge and Richard McCoy: Both of these regular 7-2-9 members and church congregants are well. James comes every Sunday to volunteer with the Radcliffe Room and asks every week when 7-2-9 is coming back. Richard comes every Sunday to get lunch from the Radcliffe Room (and some weekdays from the BID). Richard asks about the 7-2-9 volunteers.
In my personal observation, there continues to be a close relationship between homelessness and deterioration in mental health. I’ve seen many of our Radcliffe Room guests’ mental health worsen during the pandemic, which illustrates the urgent need for more opportunities for in-person fellowship like 7-2-9 brings.