The stairs on the south side of the Emergency Winter Shelter in Wichita block the north wind and provide a place for socializing. (Advance file photo)

Ministry to the homeless needs a hand with food and hospitality
The diocesan Warming Souls ministry wants to warm bodies this winter – and provide sustenance to them.
The Diocese of Wichita is responsible for providing an evening meal, breakfast, and a sack lunch from Feb. 1 through March 31 at the Emergency Winter Shelter, located at 841 N. Market, and a women’s shelter across the street.
Bonnie Toombs, director of the diocesan Respect Life and Social Justice Office, said about 100 men and 25 women are using the shelters nightly.
“We have just three or four dates open in February, but we still have quite a few in March,” she said, adding that the office was proactive this year because the annual March for Life in Washington, D.C., is held in late January.
“We’re a little ahead of the game, but you know, we want people to know that we have a lot of homeless individuals out there and we want to be able to do our part as part of the wider community helping to care for these individuals during the coldest months of the year,” Toombs said.
She said Warming Souls is a great opportunity for families, parish groups, and friends and families to get together and provide a meal for the hungry homeless.
Both shelters are managed by Interfaith Ministries.

Want to warm a tummy and a soul?
Warming Souls has a few dates in February and many open dates in March. Parishes, Knights of Columbus, or other groups or families who might wish to feed the homeless on one of the evenings may contact Bonnie Toombs at toombsb@CatholicDiocese or at 316-269-3935.