The neighborhood in which Gathering Table serves was named by the FBI as the second most dangerous in the United States.
People are homeless, crushingly poor, disabled and struggling with addictions. They are felons, refugees and immigrants who often seek shelter in abandoned buildings or tent camps, both of which are abundant in the area.
While some scrape together enough money to pay the area’s relatively “inexpensive” rents, city estimates and information amassed informally at Gathering Table indicate that about 33 percent have no independent access to heat, electricity or running water. Few have any family relationships. Mental and physical illnesses, and lack of access to treatment for them, are pervasive.
Census data omits people who do not have addresses — that’s many Gathering Table participants — but it does indicate that more than 40 percent of all people in Gathering Table’s ZIP Code either did not attend or did not complete high school. That percentage likely is higher among the hundreds of people served at Gathering Table each year. Unemployment and underemployment are rampant.
Few have any family relationships. Mental and physical illnesses, and lack of access to treatment for them, are pervasive.
There are more people becoming homeless for the first time, now more than any time in our history. The Gathering Table's Mission is on the front lines of providing hope through meals, hot showers, worship, and other life-giving support to people in need.