Picnic Creates Community for Residents

Food has provided a meaningful connection for residents of Cabrini Partnership: A PPL Program and members of Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church in southeast Minneapolis. A shared meal recently brought them together again, as church members held an annual summer picnic for residents in Van Cleve Park. Nearly 125 people were in attendance to enjoy the warm summer evening and lively conversation. While the picnic brings people together for a meal, it also helps residents on their path to self-sufficiency.

Cabrini Partnership: A PPL Program provides transitional and permanent supportive housing services to help individuals manage mental health, maintain sobriety, and break the cycle of homelessness. Residents learn the importance of building relationships and are encouraged to get involved in the larger community. The picnic creates space for residents to build their support system on a number of levels: with each other, with former residents and family members who attend, and with staff, bringing a new dimension to those relationships. Interactions with church members help residents feel a sense of belonging in the community at large.

For members of Our Lady of Lourdes, the picnic and the holiday meal they also host for residents, is part of a larger outreach effort. The church prepares over 5,000 meals yearly for various groups, becoming partners in the common good.

“We started making meals as a way to help folks in need,” says Paul Piazza, Jr., from Our Lady of Lourdes. “It’s what Cabrini is all about – helping people – so this is a way for us to help them help others.”

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