Mountain View Voice

News - September 6, 2013

Raising money to maintain 'Hope'

Local soup kitchen wants to expand its offerings to the homeless

by Nick Veronin

A charitable group that has been feeding local homeless men, women and children for the past two years is attempting to raise $300,000 to renovate the poorly equipped kitchen it's currently using.

Hope's Corner, which operates out of Trinity United Methodist Church at 748 Mercy St., has been feeding the homeless every Saturday since September 2011. The group has managed to grow its operation to the point that it now serves more than 100 people each Saturday out of a kitchen ill-suited to the task.

For starters, the kitchen has no stove, said Alice Gorgolinski, who helps run Hope's Corner. All hot food — which isn't much — has to be cooked at Trinity United's sister church in Los Altos, then driven nearly three miles to Mountain View.

When something needs to be reheated, the only choice they have at Hope's Corner is to throw it in the microwave.

Gorgolinski said she knows Hope's Corner can do better. And so the group is in the process of writing grant proposals and reaching out to the community it serves for donations or volunteers. They have raised a little more than $50,000 so far. But if all goes as Gorgolinski hopes, the organization will reach its $300,000 goal and will be able to install ovens, a stove, an industrial kitchen, better bathrooms, and perhaps even shower facilities.

"There's such a need out there," Gorgolinski said, explaining that many of the people she sees aren't what some might imagine when they think about the homeless. "It used to be just men who came in, but now we're seeing families that are living in their cars."

These are people who are having to choose between paying the rent and buying food. Plenty of them have jobs, but they don't make enough to keep a roof over their heads.

If the group raises enough to install showers, Gorgolinski said, she'd be very pleased. "Right now, we know of no place that the homeless can shower, except maybe go down to San Jose," she said.

Go to laumc.org/serve/community/hopes-corner to learn more or to help.

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