Serving the Homeless Every Day
“Mary Young” arrived at the Salvation Army Center of Hope 2 months ago. Since her arrival at the shelter, she has attended both the St. Hermione Home (SHH) Health and Wellness Program and Bible Study/Prayer Group several times. Father Paul and Ms.Christina have seen Ms.Young blossom since the time she began attending. She has always had a beautiful heart but, as she relayed to SHH, she had become lost. Through the healing of body and soul that SHH facilitates, Ms. Young stated that she “remembered” that she has always had a relationship with God. This realization helped her to focus on God’s love and mercy and the fact that He had never left her, even if she had not always recognized His presence. Additionally, she said that she loved SHH because, at every visit, she was being treated like a person. Other places she had attempted to receive care from did not listen to her, did not treat her in a respectful manner, and refrained from giving her proper care because she did not have insurance. SHH saw the totality of who she was – a beautiful person made in the image and likeness of God, worthy of dignity, respect, love and care. Furthermore, Ms. Young communicated that SHH has inspired both her and others to “step up and step in” to help those who are hurting around them. She said that something is spreading throughout the dorms at the shelter and empowering the women to be a healing presence to all whom they encounter.
The story of Ms. Young clearly shows how St. Hermione is intervening in the lives of these homeless women and spreading God’s never-ending love and grace in their hearts and their lives. Glory to God!
Holy Myrrh – “God is always near to those who suffer.”
One of the most meaningful interventions the St. Hermione Home (SHH) offers is giving women a simple coping tool – a small wooden cross gifted from the nuns at the Holy Monastery of Panagia Prousiotissa in Troy, NC. Father Paul Tsahakis offers these crosses to every woman he serves at the shelter to remind them that Jesus Christ is with them in their suffering. This simple cross has become a symbol of hope and encouragement to many women. Whether hanging on their neck or over their bunks, it is an ever-present comfort in times of trials and tribulations.
One day, SHH saw physical evidence of this spiritual reality. A patient had received a cross from Father Paul. Before giving her the cross, he, as customary, prayed. After touching it to the cross with relics he wears over his cassock- a cross containing the holy relics of St. Peter, St. Paul, St. Nektarios, St. Haralambos, St. Luke the Surgeon, and St. Panteleimon- he gently laid it over her head. The patient left to go to the cafeteria. Minutes later, she came running back, saying that her “cross was sweating.” Ms. Christina immediately smelled the holy fragrance. With the patient’s permission, she reached out and felt the sticky sweet substance. Seeing the patient was anxious, Ms. Christina brought Father Paul to talk with the patient, to encourage her that this was a beautiful sign of God’s presence with her. Father Paul came to the back hall to meet with the patient and Ms. Christina. He could smell the Holy Fragrance from 30 ft away. He knew that the Saints of the Church- the Holy Apostles, the Holy Unmercenaries and St. Hermione were witnesses to this woman’s suffering and the suffering of all the women in the Salvation Army Center of Hope. They see them, they love them, and most importantly…they intercede at the Throne of God for them.
We regularly donate clothing, host lunches, and provide other goods to local homeless in addition to our work with the women housed at St. Hermione Home. If you want to help with any of our work, please fill out the following: