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Community Service Ministry's May Spotlight: St. ColumbaEcumenical Ministries

Bayside has for many years financially supported and assisted with many projects of St. Columba

Ecumenical Ministries. St. Columba had its beginnings as part of St. Columba Presbyterian Church which was then located in the Robin Hood Apartments.

In 1987, St. Columba Ministries became St. Columba Ecumenical Ministries, Inc. St. Columba aided in the development of the Dwelling Place and the Samaritan House, and actually operated the Virginia Beach Winter Shelter for several years before Volunteers of America took over the program.

In 1991, they managed a drop-in center in Virginia Beach and from that experience came the idea for the St. Columba Day Center in Norfolk.

In 1995, they moved to their present site at the corner of Lafayette Blvd. and Dunkirk Avenue to assist the homeless and those less fortunate in the Norfolk community. St. Columba receives some federal, local and foundation grants, but relies heavily on donations from individuals, businesses, and area churches.

St. Columba is a small ministry with a very limited staff, but it reaches many people in need, the homeless and those on the cusp of homelessness. Their ministry is a direct and hands-on ministry offering economic, social, and spiritual help to all of God’s children in response to the Biblical mandate to minister to those in need.

Services offered by St. Columba include:

1. Day Shelter (operates 9 am-1:30 pm Monday-Thursday and includes coffee, water, bagged lunches, and other foods as available, opportunities for showering and clothes washing, phone use for job searches and agency registration, temporary mailing address and access to a clothes closet)

2. Food Pantry (will provide enough food for up to three days)

3. Housing Assessments

4. Assistance with prescription medications

5. Assistance with emergency vision and dental needs

6. Special programs (Easter Baskets, School Supplies, Thanksgiving Baskets, Christmas food and gift program)

Last year in 2023, St. Columba served 360 Day Center clients, provided 860 showers, distributed 1,478 hygiene kits, distributed 8, 472 sandwiches, distributed 297 sets of men’s clothing, provided food to 727 households (2,292 individuals), provided 172 prescriptions to 39 individuals, provided 29 vision and 32 dental vouchers, and converted their transitional housing to permanent supportive housing for chronically homeless individuals.

Thanks to the generous donations of our congregation, we are able to support St. Columba annually in many ways including:

-quarterly financial donations

-monthly sandwich and water donations

-our annual Easter basket preparation and delivery

-our annual school supply collection and delivery

-our annual angel tag gift program

-providing a venue and support for their annual benefit dinner and silent auction

Ongoing needs for St. Columba include bottled water, spray deodorant, disposable latex-free gloves, travel size hygiene products, Pine-Sol, Bleach, men’s, and women’s gently used casual

clothing, jeans, t-shirts, and jackets. Donations, (except clothing) can always be dropped off in the church office (labeled “St. Columba”) and will be delivered to them by your community service ministry. Clothing donations may be taken directly to St. Columba or special arrangements can be made by speaking to a Community Service Ministry member. Thank you so much Bayside for your support of St. Columba Ministry—you are helping so many people in need!!


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