Center offers a forum where homeless discuss issues affecting them
Published: February 1, 2007
BALTIMORE (CNS) -- While finding shelter is a priority for Aaron Wiggins, who is homeless, so is discussing current events. Wiggins is among the six to 10 individuals who come weekly to a Catholic-run outreach center in Baltimore's Fells Point neighborhood, ready to discuss the issues of the day. "A lot of the missions and shelters in the city don't want you to be near their building until they are ready to let you in for the night, because the neighbors don't want to look at us," Wiggins told The Catholic Review, newspaper of the Baltimore Archdiocese. "At least here, ... at this group, I don't feel like I'm invisible. I feel like what I have to say matters." On a recent weekday, he and nine other men discussed laws regulating food and shelter for the homeless. It was a chance for them to engage in intellectual dialogue while venting frustrations with a system many believe strips them of their dignity. Providing the homeless with a dignified forum was one of the main reasons St. Vincent de Paul's Beans & Bread Outreach Center started the group last April, said Kathleen Spain, director of the outreach center.
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