Doug Brown Street Ministry

DougBrownStreetMinistry1

Hot meals served from a hopeful place

The Doug Brown Street Ministry provides hot meals to the homeless and working poor Sunday through Friday at the St. Vincent de Paul Food Center in St. Petersburg.  Food collection and meal preparation is provided by UMCM Suncoast community volunteer efforts.  Through a rotating schedule of teams from churches, businesses, civic groups, and other organizations, the diners receive a nutritious dinner as well as a listening ear.

Serving teams are made up of 10-20 volunteers who work together to prepare and serve the food.  Over 200 people are served through this ministry each night .

HistoryDougBrownStreetMinistry2

Doug Brown described himself as a former alcoholic whose addiction led to him living on the streets.  One day, he heard a preacher speaking to another diner at a meal for the homeless, and his heart was touched by the pastor's words.  He turned his life over to the Lord and became sober again.  He got a job, married, and built  a loving family.  But he never forgot how it felt to be on the streets, helpless and hopeless. 

After several years of stability, Doug decided to do something to reach out to others who were struggling as he had been.  He got some friends together and took sandwiches to the parks in St. Petersburg to feed the people and speak to them about the changes in his life. 

Over time, the number of diners and serving teams grew, and the ministry was moved into the St. Vincent de Paul Food Center, out of the elements and with tables and chairs to make it easier to sit and spend time together. Doug passed away in February of 2010, and the ministry that he called the "Street Ministry" when he started so many years ago is now named in his honor. 

Volunteering Information

WHAT:  Providing hot meals to homeless and working poor individuals and families

WHO: Groups of 10 to 12, no more than 20, to purchase and cook a meal, then serve the food

WHERE: St. Vincent de Paul, 401 15th Street N, St. Petersburg, FL 33713

HOW: Groups will purchase the food and prepare it in their own, health department inspected kitchen. Groups will also transport the food to the St. Vincent de Paul Food Center and serve the meals. 

WHEN: Groups commit to the program one night each month, or one night every other month. The greatest need for groups on Saturday nights. Dinner is served from 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM.

 

The Doug Brown Street Ministry Schedule can be found below.  If your group would like to participate, contact Andrew Chouinard at foodprograms@umcmsuncoast.org or (727) 754-3974.