Things We Hear and See: Until the Goodbyes

Things We Hear and See by Marvin Thompson, Jr.

A few Fridays ago, I had the pleasure of performing with “Randal Wilson and the Chozen Few” for a soul food dinner.  The guests were much like people we all know: teachers, artists, students, and veterans.  They ate, danced and sang, as we played tunes by Herbie Hancock, Al Jarreau and the like.  After the show we took pictures, chatted a while and soon after, were on our way.  Our guests had a great time, and we had so much in common, until the goodbyes.  We drove home; and they would spend the night in a homeless shelter.

I spoke with Patricia Hall-Thomas who is the Food Coordinator of the Inter-Faith Hospitality Rotating Shelter at Gesu Catholic Church in Detroit.  This program was started through Cass Community Social Services in 1988.  Cass arranges for area churches from a variety of denominations to “host” homeless people for a week at a time, October through May. Up to 80 people a day are accepted into the program.  Mrs. Hall-Thomas has been volunteering for this program for the past 25 years, and uses a week of her vacation time each year to cook and prepare meals for the homeless during Gesu Catholic Church’s host week.  Mrs. Hall-Thomas says it is a pleasure for her to volunteer, and her enthusiasm came across loud and clear as we spoke about the program.

As I left the dinner that evening, I realized there is so much more each of us can do; and one unforeseen circumstance or untimely condition could land any of us in the same situation.  Some things are not a matter of fault, but a matter of life.

This picture was drawn of the band during our performance by one of our guests named Derek.  That shows amazing talent.  Many homeless people simply need a restart, an 0pportunity to change their situation.

Let’s do what we can to help.  Because until the goodbyes, we were like them and they were like us.

Get Involved:

Gesu Catholic Church 313-862-4400

Patricia Hall-Thomas, Food Coordinator:

Cass Community Social Services Inter-Faith Hospitality Rotating Shelter: 313-883-2277


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