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placeholder Sharing 50 years
of their gifts at
St. Edward

St Joseph Pinole marks 50 years

St. Perpetua celebrates 50th

St. Michael turns 100

St. Theresa pupils learn to share the wealth via Lenten project

Doing one thing is
no small thing

Poets at St. David

Facelift at
St. Paul School

Long-shuttered gym reopens at St. Martin de Porres School

Yearbook technology

Peer tutoring program

Pupils learn to lead with faith

St. John pupils
use iPads to bring
learning to life

Catholic education:
A gift that keeps
on giving

Choir offers more
than music at St. Leo
the Great School

Bishop marks O'Dowd's opening

St. Mary's Center
Gala more important
than ever

College to inaugurate president

Archbishop Brunett recovering

Bay Area Catholic Singles group looking for a few good participants

Pope Francis desires to draw remarried people to Christ

Contra Costa group meets monthly

Church upholds rules about marriage

Birthright fundraiser

Respect Life program begins

Respect life not just
for the unborn

Cardinal O'Malley
calls for hope, action, compassion

Bishop Daly
to lead seminary

Finding common

"Got love?"
conference returns

placeholder October 7, 2013   •   VOL. 51, NO. 17   •   Oakland, CA
St. Mary's Center Gala more important than ever

As planners put the finishing touches on preparations for this year's Saint Mary's Center Gala, there are more than the usual hopes riding on its success.

St. Mary's Center Gala

When: Oct. 12

Where: Greek Orthodox Cathedral, Oakland

Dinner and dancing; live and silent auctions

Cost: $100 per person

Website: www.stmaryscenter.org
Proceeds from the gala will fund the most pressing need for the center, which serves low-income senior citizens, as well as families and preschoolers in West Oakland.

This year's most pressing need appears to be the emergency winter shelter for low-income people older than 55, which is scheduled to open Dec. 1 despite losing $100,000 in funding that had previously been directed to it by the city of Oakland.

It costs $150,000 to run the shelter, which is open five months a year, for 25 guests.

"We're not going to stop doing our shelter because of policy shift," said Carol Johnson, executive director of St. Mary's Center. "We'll move forward with a wing and a prayer."

Federal assistance for the emergency shelter — which had come to St. Mary's Center through the city of Oakland — is being reduced in favor of initiatives that provide more permanent housing for those who request it.

This works well, Johnson said, in areas where there is available housing.

But that's not true in the East Bay, she said, where housing for extremely low-income people is scarce.

At the emergency winter shelter, in addition to meals and a roof over their heads, shelter guests receive the services of a case manager, which is an important stepping stone to more stable housing.

For many of the clients, the weakened economy of the past decade is still taking its toll. "A lot of people we see in our shelter had a job, a house and a very different life," said Katrina Brekke-Miesner, development associate.

Among those who are helping make life inside that shelter more comfortable, Johnson said, are several Oakland diocese parishes that make financial contributions, provide meals to the guests during their winter stay, and contribute money for bus fare and other necessities.

In its latest annual report, St. Mary's Center noted that 2,667 elders, children and families were impacted by the center. Among them are the 40 children, ages 3 to 5, enrolled in St. Mary's Center Preschool.

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