ST. Matthews House
Touching Hearts and Transforming Lives… that is the motto of ST. Matthews House. This incredible organization was founded in the late 1980’s with the mission to feed the hungry around Naples. Fast Forward to 2020 and the organization has grown to build shelters, soup kitchens, thrift shops, and has become a safe place for those who need recovery from addiction. It is undeniably amazing what they have been able to do for thousands around Lee and Collier County and they aren’t slowing down anytime soon.
What does ST. Matthews House Consist of?
Currently, in SWFL, they have two mobile food pantries. Their kitchen cooks for the shelter and for the soup kitchen. They are currently in the process of building an additional kitchen near the Naples location which will offer even more services.
There is also the men’s and women’s recovery program. The men’s program has been in place for about 10 years and the women’s program has been going for a little over 5 years. In these shelters, they give those that come in, structure. They expect those living in the shelter to be looking for a job. They will also help them get a bank account set up, have weekly case management meetings, and will help them find a job so they can earn money. The whole point of this shelter is to help everyone that comes in become a productive member of society and to live a successful life in the world once they are ready to return.
The newest location just opened in Fort Myers at 13140 Metro Parkway! This is the largest ST. Matthews House Thrift Store to date and has an impressive collection of a variety of items that the public is sure to be excited about.
The public can expect to find amazing prices for name brand products that will keep them coming back for more. “Every dollar we make is vital to our organization’s success.” -Store Manager, Michelle.
The money that comes in from clothes, shoes, furniture, work out equipment, and other items, go right back into the mission. As the public comes into store, they are supporting so many others that are struggling, and that is something that they truly want to bring to light.
I asked their staff, “What is your mission for every person that walks through the door?” Collectively, they responded with, “To learn about the mission and understand the impact their purchase has on their community.”
When people buy something from this store, the money they spend goes back into the people who surround them every day.
Michelle came from Lee county, went through the program, and now works in new Lee County store. She says “It is important that people know who we are, what we do and that there is hope and help.”
ST. Matthews is known for not only helping people get through some of the hardest times in their life, but being available afterwards to help them in their career. Several employees that work at or even manage their stores have gone through the program and are now a vital part to the organization’s success and growth. Think about it…Who knows the mission better than those who have participated and are now thriving in their own lives? Passion lies behind each and every one of these staff members and shines through them as they proudly work their shifts in this new, beautiful building.
With every person that walks through that door and finds their own treasure, they are giving back to something so great and it is so beneficial for people in their city. It is important to bring awareness to those who may need help, and to those who want to get involved in the mission. If you are interested in getting involved, donating, volunteering, or working for ST. Matthews, check out their website. www.stmatthewshouse.org.
You can also stop by any of their establishments where you can talk to their staff about opportunities they have available and can get questions answered if you or someone you know may need their help.