Face to Face
Face to Face - Germantown
You will be serving meals at this organization
“I come each week to the dining room because
People remember me and say hello and thank you.
Life is not as lonely because I come to Face to Face.”
A boarding house resident in Germantown
Guests are greeted with smiles, handshakes, and welcoming hugs. Flowers, sometimes fresh, adorn each table. Volunteers serve nourishing 3-course meals to guests who enjoy being waited on and interacting with their servers. We are distinguished both by what we do and the manner in which we do it. Face to Face believes that each guest is the equal of each staff member and volunteer.
Sometimes we share a laugh; sometimes celebrate a birthday or other special occasion, sometimes a challenge is shared, but all the time there is a Face to Face connection with each and every guest. As one guest said... “I came for something to eat because crack had taken over my life. I lost my family, my job, my home. You fed me and you inspired me.”
In the Germantown section of Philadelphia, more than 26% of residents live in deep poverty; which is defined as living on less than 50% of the Federal Poverty line. Specifically, it means living on $5,400 a year or less for a single person and $11,700 a year or less for a family of four. Face to Face’s goal is to reach out to the people of Germantown on the margins of society and offer substantive help and hope. We welcome those that society shuns and treat them with dignity and respect. The mentally ill, the homeless, those struggling with addiction, the impoverished elderly, single parents and struggling families, are all welcomed at Face to Face. Our programs work to lift our guests beyond the reach of crushing poverty.
Face to Face offers a Dining Room, a nurse managed Health Center, a Legal Center, a Social Services Center and Children’s Summer Camps and After School programs. We also have a Washeteria where people can take a hot shower and receive a new set of clothes. Face to Face serves 2,500 annually and has been a stable presence in Germantown for over 20 years.
What our students say about Face to Face doing service at Face to Face in Germantown has been an incredible experience in which we have become a part of the community there. Our service is different every week, as we do in whatever Face to Face needs. We’ve done everything from peeling potatoes, to playing Scrabble with guests, to serving meals, to flower arranging and singing. Though our roles are constantly changing, the community is consistent and close-knit. Serving at Face to Face requires the ability to assume the complex role of being an advocate. We are neither staff members who make rules and hold power, nor are we simply the friends of the individuals. Instead, we must be a mix of both roles, working hard to build relationships with the guests, while also maintaining order at the soup kitchen. If you choose to serve at Face to Face, be ready to commit to going every week. It is not possible to create these relationships without the commitment. Each guest has so much to teach us, and many of them are not treated with respect anywhere else, so it is up to us to be consistent and open. We go every Saturday morning, and stay until we’ve helped with everything we can for the day.