At BSM, we believe that the very act of radical hospitality is, in itself, healing. By inviting anyone and everyone into our space, we have the opportunity to connect with them as the unique individuals that they truly are.
BSM’s commitment to radical hospitality means that hundreds of vulnerable adults are welcomed through our doors each week. And while many of these folks are lacking vital resources and are living outdoors, by no means are these the only “vulnerable” people we receive.
In addition to enjoying nutritious and professionally-prepared meals, our guests can access a variety of life-stabilizing services delivered by our team and our partner organizations.
Lunch: Monday through Friday 12:00pm - 1:00pm
BSM’s meals are open to anyone who wishes to dine with us. We are especially focused on creating an inviting and safe atmosphere for men and women who are homeless, at risk of being homeless, or of low-income.
Even though ensuring that our guests have at least one nutritious meal on the days that they join us is an important goal itself, we also see the meals as a way to develop and sustain our guests’ trust over time. This often leads to a greater willingness on their part to access the various stabilizing social services that complement most of the meals.
Mail Service: Monday through Friday 11:30am - 2:00pm
BSM’s mail service began in 2008 to meet a few guests’ need for a secure place to receive their mail. Ten years later, more than 3,000 people call BSM’s address their own, enabling them to establish residency, get identification, search for employment, and receive benefits.
One of our mail participants said, “It helps me get benefits. It’s a mainstay of communications with various members of my family. Gets me a feeling of permanence. Gives me comfortable feeling.”
Signing up for a mailing address is often the first step toward transformation, and handling, sorting, distributing, and delivering all that mail in a patient and trauma-informed way takes a lot of time and person power! We’re always looking for more of that rare breed of people who can alphabetize and smile at the same time. A rare feat!
Monday – Friday
11:30 am – 2:00 pm
Where: Downstairs in the Big Room
Contact Samuel Steffan at email@example.com or 215-735-4847 ext 103 if you have questions. If you would like to receive your mail at BSM, just come by during our service hours and we will set you up with an address.
Personal Care Items: Wednesdays 11:30am - 1:30pm
One of the many hardships for our guests at Breaking Bread, who are living outdoors in the city, or do not have a permanent place to live, involves personal hygiene.
Some of the most basic items to maintain this are often difficult for our guests to obtain. This is especially true during the winter months when it is essential to have clean, dry socks and undergarments. Other essentials – like soap, deodorant, toothpaste and toothbrushes and other toiletries – are just that, essential all year round. Our personal care team that includes staff and a cadre of volunteers have developed an ordering and fulfillment system that is both efficient and trauma-informed.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to donate items to our personal care “pantry”, or contact our Volunteer Coordinator email@example.com, (215-735-4847 ext. 109) if you would like to volunteer to help out with this important work.
When: Wednesday 11:30 – 1:30 pm
Where: Downstairs in the Big Room (Multi-Purpose Room)
315 Threadz Appointments: Mondays & Thursdays 12:00pm - 2:00pm
315 Threadz (The Service Formerly Known as “Clothing Closet”) is a large walk-through closet that is continually stocked with donated clothing.
During Breaking Bread meals, we employ an appointment system to invite about forty of our guests to go through the closet and select up to three items of clothing. The inventory is constantly updated and replenished by volunteers, who also help with sorting the clothes and storing the ones that are out of season.
BSM’s vision of radical hospitality where everyone who comes through our doors is treated with respect and dignity and is a valued member of our community is emphasized in 315 Threadz. We only offer our guests gently used, clean clothing; clothing that is appropriate for each guest’s unique situation.
When: 315 Threadz offers clothing during services by appointment.
Where: The Clothing Closet is located on the 2nd floor just before the entrance into the Sunday School Room.
If you are interested in donating, please contact us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Because of our limited space and resources we have listed some guidelines that will help us get your donations to our guests in the most efficient manner.:
1. Donations are accepted by appointment only.
2. Clothes should be clean and gently used. We cannot accept clothing that is stained, ripped, missing buttons or zippers or in the case of shoes have holes or very worn soles.
3. We cannot accept children’s clothing.
4. If you are able, it is very helpful if the clothing is sorted. We sort our clothing first by gender, then by type, then by size. For example if you were to sort your donation put men’s pants in one bag, women’s pants in one bag, and men’s shirts in a third bag. Please label each bag.
Therapeutic Arts Table: Tuesdays & Thursdays 1:00pm - 2:30pm
Therapeutic art is considered an essential component to our trauma-informed delivery of social services at Breaking Bread. When people participate at the therapeutic art table, they experience a broad range of psychological, spiritual, and social benefits.
Participants often experience personal healing that contributes to the growth of a strong, supportive community. Above and beyond participation, its existence in the room provides a calming and creative atmosphere for all guests and service providers.
Staff and volunteers create a relaxed atmosphere and affirming space in which our guests can safely discover and express their innate creativity. Anyone and everyone is welcome to join us at the art table.
The art table is a great place for many of our volunteers to get to know some of our guests by cultivating conversation around the art table and enjoying the creative time together. No artistic skills are necessary. All that’s needed is a willingness to be patient and encouraging. Volunteers also create their own project alongside someone else as a way of reminding ourselves and each other that we are not walking this road alone.
When: Every Tuesday and Thursday from 1:30pm – 2:30pm.
Where: Downstairs Multi-purpose room
Mending: Thursdays 11:30am - 2:30pm
For more than five years a wonderful cadre of some sixteen women from several of our partner churches have come to Breaking Bread each Thursday in groups of two or three to offer free mending services to our guests.
This has become one of the services our guests count on, not just for the mending, but also for the kind words and encouraging smiles that greet each one who comes to the mending room with a favorite item of clothing that needs attention. Our Menders are always ready to welcome new volunteers, so if you have basic (or even advanced!) sewing skills, just get in touch with Barbara Lappen at email@example.com and she will get you into the mender rotation.
When: The Menders come to every Thursday Breaking Bread except for Holy Thursday and Thanksgiving Day.
Where: The Mender sewing room is located in the first small meeting room just inside the Sunday School Room.
Our concierges Michael and Leah, led by Geremi, our Director of Concierge Services, are available Monday through Friday during meal and mail hours. They assist guests in navigating complex systems and services to achieve their goals, including obtaining benefits, identification, medical care, behavioral health care, and housing.
Every quarter the Homeless Advocacy Project and its partner law firm of Drinker Biddle & Reath meet with guests to determine if they can assist them with a variety of legal issues. If they are able to be of assistance, all services are on a pro bono basis.
Philadelphia FIGHT Screenings: Tuesdays & Thursdays 9:30am - 4:00pm
BSM has a Philadelphia FIGHT satellite clinic that provides medical care and social services for our guests.
Philadelphia FIGHT Community Health Centers provide culturally competent comprehensive primary care, and state of the art HIV primary care to low income members of the community, along with research, consumer education, advocacy, social services and outreach to people living with HIV and those who are at high risk, including family members, communities with high rates of HIV, formerly incarcerated persons, and young people at risk; and access to the most advanced clinical research in HIV treatment and prevention.
Jefferson Nursing: Mondays & Tuesdays 11:30am - 2:00pm
Healthcare can be a challenge for our guests. Twice a week students from Jefferson School of Nursing run a wellness clinic to provide a variety of health screenings and counseling.
Music Mondays: 1:30pm - 2:45pm
Musicians from The Philadelphia Orchestra come to BSM weekly with musical instruments! We actively learn about music by improvising, writing songs, and playing together in a variety of styles. No musical experience required! Join us each Monday.
Medical, Psychiatric, and Behavioral Health Services: Tuesdays & Thursdays 11:30am - 2:30pm
General Medical Services: Philadelphia Health Management Corporation (PHMC) currently provides a nurse on Thursdays to assist our guests with medications, basic medical issues, and referrals. Psychiatric and Behavioral Health Services: PHMC also stations a psychiatric nurse on both Tuesday and Thursday to provide psychiatric counseling and evaluations that enable guests to access stabilizing services.
We thought we would change the world. Turns out we can change the neighborhood, which isn’t too bad.