Welcome to St. Clare’s Care
Br. Jimmy joined the Franciscans in 2019 and started working at St. Anthony’s last summer. Most days, you can find him welcoming guests into St. Clare’s Care, where they can sleep or rest in the peace and quiet of St. Boniface Church.
“I’m technically a volunteer at St. Anthony’s. When I first arrived, I was working in Guest Services and the Free Clothing Program. I also helped in the prep kitchen one day a week. I had a nice little tour of almost everything here.
Since it opened, I’ve been working at St. Clare’s Care a lot. It’s been a great experience. There’s something so simple about what we do there. In the Franciscan tradition, at the most basic level, we’re trying to live the Gospel. Jesus says, Come to me you who are weary and burdened and I’ll give you rest. And for us to be able to take that on is really meaningful.
Before we opened, at least once or twice a week, people would ask me, Is there anywhere that I can go just to sit? That’s something most of us take for granted. But people who are out on the streets often don’t have that option. They’re constantly being moved along; there’s nowhere that they can go to just sit and not worry. To be able to provide that is really wonderful.
It’s more than protection from weather. It’s a sense of safety, of being at home. I know a lot of people come because they know that if something goes wrong, St. Anthony’s will be able to take care of them. It’s also been a great way to connect people to our other services. If someone’s leaving, we say, Make sure you grab lunch! If someone comes in with dirty clothes, we ask if they know about our laundry service.
I’ve gotten to know some of our regular guests. There’s one guy who comes and says, Is my reservation ready? Because he likes to go to the same spot. He’s in a shelter but he says it’s too loud at night. He can actually come and get some sleep here because it’s quiet.
It’s also a beautiful space. When people come and see it for the first time, they’re usually blown away. We don’t make things like this anymore. As Franciscans, we’re not doing something for you, we’re doing it with you. Sharing St. Boniface with our guests is at the foundation of who we are.”