Clothing is provided free of charge to approximately 150 people each week. All of the clothing available is donated by the many generous individuals and groups that support the André House ministry.
Guests may drop off their clothing to be laundered and can pick them up later that afternoon. When the guests return in the afternoon to pick up their clothing, it is clean and folded and in a bag with their name on it.
We provide showers and toiletries for our guests five days a week. When a guest uses our showers, he or she receives a towel, washcloth, soap, shampoo and razor as well as other toiletries he or she may need. Our showers are individual units, which gives our guest the privacy and dignity they deserve.
Guests can make local, long distance, or international calls in our Pascente Office.
A blanket can be a life-saver when you have to sleep outside. It provides warmth in the winter months and protection from the hot pavement in the summer. André House gives out over 5,000 blankets a year. All of these blankets are donated.
Simple pain medicine (e.g. ibuprofen, non-aspirin) is available to our guests as well as vitamins to help people stay healthy.
Why do we have a service we call portering, and where does it get its name?
André House is named after St. Brother André Bessette, C.S.C. Br. André lived in Montreal, Canada and served at the college de Notre Dame run by the Congregation of Holy Cross. Br. André’s main ministry at the school was to serve as the porter, the doorman. In that capacity he would welcome people to the school, run errands, and overall serve as a minister of hospitality. As he interacted with people, they would share their stories and sometimes ask for prayers. Br. André would pray with them, and also encourage people to pray to St. Joseph. Through these prayers, many healings took place.
We at André House hope to provide a place of hospitality and healing for our guests. The healing may not be physical healing, but may be emotional or spiritual. Desiring to offer hospitality and healing like Br. André provided for so many people, we have a ministry called portering. This is a ministry in which someone will be in our parking lot, often by the door. It is a ministry of being present to guests, to those who come to volunteer, and to the generous benefactors who come bringing donations of clothing, toiletries, blankets, or others things found on our needs list.
Lockers are available to our guests for the nominal fee of a $10 key deposit (refunded if they check out & return the key) and $4 per month for rent. This is the ONLY service for which a fee is charged at André House. The rent, which is the amount André House pays the leasing company, is much less than that charged at the bus station, and yet offers a place to store possessions that would otherwise have to be carried with the guest all day long…to job interviews, to work, etc. Even with nearly 100 lockers onsite, they are almost always rented and prove to be a very valuable service offering.
Janis Garcia, an elder law lawyer who has begun and worked on legal services programs for more than one organization over the years and Bob Gottsfield, retired Superior Court Judge who has volunteered at Andre House on a weekly basis since 1990, are volunteer co-coordinators of the new Andre House legal services program providing pro bono lawyers to meet with guests in their areas of specialty. Experience from similar programs have shown that 60 percent or more of guests do not make the first appointment if they have to travel to a lawyer’s office.
Lawyers are on-campus to meet with guests on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of the month from 10:00 am to noon.
Blanket & Sleeping Bag Distribution
Annually, André House provides approximately 5,000 blankets to those in need. This service is critical for those without shelter, especially during the cooler months. Our guests can receive a blanket once every two weeks, and they can obtain a sleeping bag once a season. All of the blankets and sleeping bags provided are generously donated to us, and we sincerely thank all those who make this service possible.