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Wednesday, August 17, 2022
HomeNewsArchivesSt. Thomas Women’s Group Pitches in at Local Shelter

St. Thomas Women’s Group Pitches in at Local Shelter

Members of the St. Thomas Business and Professional Women's group serve residents at Bethlehem House homeless shelter on St. Thomas.It’s Tuesday evening and the sun is setting in Hospital Ground. Evening rush-hour traffic is finally slowing down, but at Bethlehem Homeless Shelter, women are busy milling around the women’s dormitory.
They move in and out of the building’s tiny kitchen – making careful stacks of fluffy brown rolls, setting out steaming metal tins of rice and peas, fish and baked chicken.
Five members of the St. Thomas Business and Professional Women group line up and, after a brief prayer, begin serving the 15 or so men, women and children who have gathered to eat.
The dinner is an annual tradition for the group. President Tina Callwood said that they do it as part of their observance of Business and Professional Women’s Week. She said the event does as much for her as it does for the recipients.
“It makes me humble. It makes me appreciate life as a whole. It makes me appreciate what I have,” she said.
Case manager Damali Smith makes her way around the table where the food is set up, making plates fore some and urging others to eat. She calls down a hallway, asking “did you eat?” Moments later a young woman with a small, laughing girl appears and loads up a plate for the two of them.
Smith has been working for Catholic Charities, who run the shelter, for five and a half years but has been working at Bethlehem since May. She said that they feed St. Thomas’ homeless every day – sometimes serving as many as 100 people.
District Manager Alvin Henley explained that it’s very much appreciated when outside groups like Callwood’s step in.
He said the shelter works as a referral agency – taking in whoever needs help, evaluating their needs and pointing them in the right direction.
All who come are guaranteed a 30-day stay, but if they need more help and show they are invested in bettering themselves, they can stay as long as a year.
He said they do what they can, but every little bit helps.
“As long as we have outside sources coming in with donations — that’s what saves us,” he said.

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Members of the St. Thomas Business and Professional Women's group serve residents at Bethlehem House homeless shelter on St. Thomas.It’s Tuesday evening and the sun is setting in Hospital Ground. Evening rush-hour traffic is finally slowing down, but at Bethlehem Homeless Shelter, women are busy milling around the women’s dormitory.
They move in and out of the building’s tiny kitchen - making careful stacks of fluffy brown rolls, setting out steaming metal tins of rice and peas, fish and baked chicken.
Five members of the St. Thomas Business and Professional Women group line up and, after a brief prayer, begin serving the 15 or so men, women and children who have gathered to eat.
The dinner is an annual tradition for the group. President Tina Callwood said that they do it as part of their observance of Business and Professional Women’s Week. She said the event does as much for her as it does for the recipients.
“It makes me humble. It makes me appreciate life as a whole. It makes me appreciate what I have,” she said.
Case manager Damali Smith makes her way around the table where the food is set up, making plates fore some and urging others to eat. She calls down a hallway, asking “did you eat?” Moments later a young woman with a small, laughing girl appears and loads up a plate for the two of them.
Smith has been working for Catholic Charities, who run the shelter, for five and a half years but has been working at Bethlehem since May. She said that they feed St. Thomas’ homeless every day – sometimes serving as many as 100 people.
District Manager Alvin Henley explained that it’s very much appreciated when outside groups like Callwood’s step in.
He said the shelter works as a referral agency – taking in whoever needs help, evaluating their needs and pointing them in the right direction.
All who come are guaranteed a 30-day stay, but if they need more help and show they are invested in bettering themselves, they can stay as long as a year.
He said they do what they can, but every little bit helps.
“As long as we have outside sources coming in with donations -- that’s what saves us,” he said.