Today was Rob's last meeting as club President.  He was joined at Cafe Spiga by 11 members and one guest, Father Mark, who was filling in for Stephen Brazeau, Director of the Pax Christi Hospitality Center, who is ill.   
Following applause for Rob's efforts on our behalf, he called for announcements:
Kim reported that she attended the PJ Middle School's 8th grade Moving-Up Ceremony last week and presented our $300 scholarship to the youngster chosen as Most Motivated Student of the Year.  In addition to presenting check, Kim created a Certificate for presentation to accompany the check.  She asked for permission to have a plaque made in future years to accompany the cash award.  Rob agreed that this should be done.
Rebecca reminded us to vote in today's Primary Election (Polls are open until 9 PM.)  She also thanked us for our support in her re-election as Village Trustee.  She looks forward to serving the citizens of Port Jefferson for another 2 years.
Deb spoke about a brief motivational speech she heard recently that re-enforced the idea that we can start small, yet make a difference.  This reminded her of Rotary and of our club's efforts to successfully serve others near and far.
Rob introduced our speaker, Father Mark, who is both a Franciscan Brother and Friar.  He is part of the staff of Hope House Ministries that was founded by Father Frank  Pizzarelli, a Montfort Missionary,  50 years ago, and that evolved into 10 different ministries under Father Frank's direction that work with men, women, and teens in need of help.   The Pax Christi Hospitality Center was established in 1991 in response to the freezing death of a homeless man whose body was found near the Port Jeff RR Station.  Today, Pax Christi, which serves men over age 16 in need of emergency services, has 23 beds and is open 24/7- 365 days a year.  According to a brochure provided by Father Mark: Pax Christi provides not only basic necessities to its clients but also supportive assistance to help its guests connect to services in the community that can meet their needs.  The hope or goal is ultimately to help these men break the cycle of dependence on social welfare and become self-sufficient contributing members of society capable of living productive lives on their own.  In reality, Father Mark says that the stories these men bring with them are heartbreaking, and many of them, through circumstances they couldn't control, are in now need of all sorts of professional medical help.  Many of the clients suffer from schizophrenia, trauma (ie., PTSD), bi-polar disorders, or have addiction issues.  The shelter takes both referrals from the Dept. of Social Services and walk-ins.  Each prospective guest is screened upon arrival to insure that he is stable and that the environment is safe for all involved.  Pax Christi does provide outreach services for women (clothing, showers, professional services) including heating and cooling stations.  There is a long-term care place for women in the vicinity.  Twenty-five women were housed 5 times a week at churches locally.  Money is always needed to help sustain programs for both men and women in need.  Not long ago, Nassau and Suffolk were #1 in the number of homeless veterans in need of help like that provided by Pax Christi.  Now, governmental money has been found and is being directed towards their care. The number of homeless vets have declined but not those with mental illness.
According to Father Mark, Pax Christi is always at capacity.  If disruptive, a homeless person could be barred from the shelter's help.  Father Mark shared a copy of the page of house rules that guests must agree to in order to stay at the shelter, including forbidding violence in any form, weapons, pornography, smoking indoors, vape devices, etc., turning over all prescribed medicines to be stored in a locked area, accepting inspection by staff of all belongings at any time,  prohibiting loitering in or around the train station, regulating the use of mobile phones and electronic devices, and requiring one-on-one advocacy meetings with staff every morning.  
Pax Christi is considered to be an "emergency shelter".  An interim space is usually sought for clients, but affordable spaces are rare.  Therefore, men can sometimes stay at Pax Christi from 3 days to 5 years.  The shelter supports a number of undocumented homeless and LGBTQ young men who have been thrown out of their homes and need an interim one. Father Mark assured us that ALL clients are treated and are expected to behave with dignity.  Among the always needed services and goods: barbers; toiletries; underwear; socks; female protection products; and food.  Food can be dropped off and will be gratefully accepted at all times of day and night. And monetary donations are always welcome.
Father Mark also gave out a list of additional resources for the needy including Grab & Go Meals and groceries from Welcome Friends Soup Kitchen, The Open Cupboard, Suffolk County Pantries at local churches, the Lighthouse Mobile Food Pantry, Emergency Housing through the Dept. of Social Services, Cooling Stations, Addiction & Recovery Resources,  Detox & Rehab, Mental Health Clinics, Health Services, and Crisis Intervention.  
Reminders: the Port Jeff Station/Terryville Chamber of Commerce-sponsored "Summer Concert Wednesdays", FREE events from 6-8 PM, will be held at the newly refurbished Chamber Train Car Park. Bring a chair.
July 6th: "Veterans Night"- SouthBound and Keepin' it Country.
July 13th: "Paint Night"- Paige Patterson.
July 20th: "Luau Night"- Step Ahead
July 27th: "Ice Cream Night"- BMX Stunt Show & School of Rock, Port Jefferson, NY
Aug. 3rd: " Shakespeare in the Park": "The Taming of the Shrew"
Visit or call 631-821-1313 for more info.
You are invited to the Celebration of Larry Hohler's Life on Sunday, July 17th, from 4-8 PM, at the Port Jefferson Village Center (The Sail Loft, 3rd floor), 101-A East Broadway, by the harbor.  This should be a joy-filled occasion, with live entertainment and opportunities to reminisce, and share "Larry stories" and a pot luck meal with non-alcoholic beverages.  RSVP by July 12th to Yvette (631-473-1662 or
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Port Jefferson

Service Above Self

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Tuesdays at 12:15 PM
Cafe Spiga
176 North Country Road
Mt. Sinai, NY 11766
United States of America
(631) 730-8686
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