Our Lady of the Holy Souls and Our House

By Shinn Ptak

The Ministry of Our Lady of the Holy Souls is doing great work here in our community of Little Rock by providing food for the homeless residents of Our House. Our House is a community initiative to provide shelter, housing and children’s daycare to the homeless. Through this program people are taught job skills, hope is nurtured, and opportunities are found to help the homeless re-enter productive society. Our Lady of the Holy Souls Catholic Church has a partnership with the nonprofit organization Our House to provide food and service to help fulfill their mission to “Encounter Jesus” and “Serve Others.”

A Holy Souls congregation member volunteering and serving the dinner meal at Our House.

The Holy Souls Parish takes dinner to Our House on the first Tuesday and 5th Saturday of each month. They provide food for around 80 residents each time they serve at Our House. Many members of the Congregation have been working with Our House for 25 years now.

“It’s gratifying and heartwarming to be able to provide a hot, nutritious meal for others and hear that they enjoy it and appreciate it. Most people at the shelter are very appreciative of the food and offer a thank you when coming through the line. It’s nice to know that we can help people have a nutritious meal before bedtime to help nourish their bodies to give them energy for school, work or whatever they have to do the following day.” says Mrs. Darlene Hebda, a leader of the ministry, who has been bringing food to Our House since 2007.

The staff at Our House, together the congregation members at Holy Souls Catholic Church and Mrs. Laura Humphries, the Parish Life Director, have built something beautiful within the community by facilitating this partnership. They are grateful to make a difference in each other’s lives.

Residents at Our House enjoying a meal provided by Our Lady of the Holy Souls Catholic Church.

Many different circumstances have brought individuals to Our House. Some of the individuals have said that drugs led them down a bad path leading them to lose everything. Many women have also left abusive relationships with nothing more than the clothes on their back and have come to the shelter to make a new start. No matter the circumstances, Our House and Our Lady of the Holy Souls are there to help them get back on their feet.

“Our House Shelter provides people in need with food, shelter and employment guidance to help individuals who are struggling to make their way in life. I’ve seen firsthand the difference Our House makes in the lives of people who’ve found themselves in terrible predicaments when they didn’t know where their next meal was coming from or how they would be able to take care of their family. Since joining the group of 20 plus individuals from my church, who volunteer to prepare and serve the evening meal at Our House once a month, I have felt privileged to be a small part of a big step toward helping others in our community make a better life for themselves. I enjoy meeting the residents at Our House and admire their courage and fortitude, and I look forward to volunteering there for years to come hoping to make a positive difference in some small way” says volunteer Darlene Hebda.

If you are looking for more information or to volunteer you can contact Laura Humphries, Parish Life Director at Holy Souls by email at lhumpries@holysouls.org or call the church office at 501-663-8632.  If you want to volunteer at Our House, you can contact the office at 601-374-7383 ext. 147. If you wish to donate to Our House, donations can be made on their website at https://ourhouseshelter.org/donate/