For almost a decade, a small team of dedicated suburban friends has assembled to prepare a nutritious luncheon for the residents of the Self Inc. Outley House Men’s Shelter at 70th and Woodland Avenue. On Saturdays following major holidays, Richard Smith and Carmela Curatola buy the food, then prepare and serve lunch in the expansive Outley House kitchen. On Saturday, July 6, they served sloppy joes, coleslaw, mountains of french fries, cake and iced tea to 65 residents of the shelter with as many “seconds” as the men wanted to eat!
“Very special! Thank you very much! This is terrific!” were the typical expressions as the men passed down the serving line.
Rich and Carmela have selected Saturdays after five or six of each year’s major holidays as opportunities to supplement the regular food service menu at Outley and give the kitchen a break from their 3-meals a day, 7-days-a-week routine. Currently, they are promoting their outreach program through Wayne Presbyterian church, whose CityLights Network has been a presence in Southwest for 25 years.
Under the able direction of Chef Ricky Hill, the Outley House kitchen prepares daily meals for residents at a number of other Self Inc. shelters around the city. The kitchen has recently been renovated to make it more efficient – particularly as it gears up for the fall and winter season when the population of Self Inc. shelters increases due to the colder weather.