Local Scouts provide meals for homeless men

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Greene County Girl Scouts helped to feed 50 homeless men at Spring Hill Baptist Church on Tuesday, Jan. 19, as part of the People and Congregations Engaged in Ministry program.

Each winter, PACEM brings together more than 80 faith organizations and community groups and more than 3,000 volunteers in the Charlottesville area to provide shelter, meals and companionship to the homeless men.

Case managers work with more than 200 men each winter to support them moving off the streets and into safe and stable homes, including rental apartments, public housing, assisted living or even moving back in with family and friends.

During the 2014-15 shelter season, 34 individuals moved into a stable home, 21 were referred to a more structured shelter and another 41 reconnected with their family support network.

To support this effort, Girl Scouts from Troops 573 and 1340 met to help welcome the men, and prepare and serve a meal for them. For some of the girls, the outreach helped to complete the requirements for their “Give Back” badge, an award that the girls can attach to their vests to show their commitment to their community.

According to Beth Mellott, the leader of Troop 573, programs like this allow girls to “connect with Girl Scout values by showing them how to be considerate and caring to those who have a real need in our communities and that they do not have to travel very far to make the world a better place.”

One of the Girl Scouts, Avery Paladino, was there with her brother Ethan, who was diagnosed with cancer last February. Ethan has long loved to support the PACEM effort, but because of his sickness, he was unable to help out at his church this year.

To help out the men staying at Spring Hill, Ethan purchased, folded, and prayed over a pair of socks for each of them and was grateful that his football coach, Justin Kinsey, who leads the PACEM effort at Spring Hill, was on hand to help pass them out.

Several of the men conveyed their thanks to Ethan and his family for his simple gift. They were truly touched by it and by the girls who took their time to feed and care for them. Acts of generosity such as these are the reason that PACEM has been so successful in putting the men back on the right track.

Source: Greene County Record