What We Do

The Columbia Catholic Workers currently operate two houses of hospitality--St. Francis House for men and Lois Bryant House for women.

We have also operated Loaves and Fishes Soup Kitchen in the downtown area of Columbia for the past 27 years.

At St. Francis House, we currently provide overnight shelter for approximately 10-12 homeless individuals, where about half of our overnight guests are chronically mentally ill.  Our houses are open during the evening hours to both people who live on the street, and the near-homeless, where we offer a place to relax out of the elements and enjoy community. We also provide breakfast and a light supper on a daily basis to homeless and home insecure persons in Columbia.  In addition to our overnight guests, we generally serve an additional 10-20 people at these meals. Length of stay at the men’s house depends on individual need: some chronically mentally ill men have been with us for years; men simply “down on their luck” usually stay from a few days to a few weeks.

St. Francis House provides showers and laundry facilities at no charge to our overnight and drop-in guests, as well as clothing, food boxes, and hospitality for persons in need when we have donations available.  We have a telephone available for guests to make local calls. 

At Lois Bryant House, we provide emergency shelter for women, usually 72 hours although that time limit may be extended. We also provide laundry and shower facilities for women who live on the street or in the neighborhood.

At Loaves and Fishes Soup Kitchen, we partner with faith and community groups to provide an evening meal 7 nights a week. We generally serve 50-65 people a night, and the soup kitchen is open all year round. The only days meals are not served at the soup kitchen are Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, Memorial Day, 4th of July and Labor Day. On those days, the hungry are invited to eat at St. Francis House where we serve a holiday meal to everyone who comes to the house.

(Lois Bryant House)

(Loaves and Fishes Soup Kitchen)