For safety, Archdiocese reduces feeding of homeless to three days a week, limited to ‘balutan’ bags

Archdiocese of Agana (PNC file photo)

For safety reasons, the Archdiocese of Agana has made the decision to reduce hours and curtail its feeding of the homeless program at its Ministry to the Homeless soup kitchen starting this week.

Growing non-compliance of safety measures by some soup kitchen clients and a recent incident of drunkenness and fighting in which a knife was drawn has prompted the decision.

Feeding of daily hot meals to the homeless has been suspended. Instead, Ministry to the Homeless will distribute “Balutan” (To Go) bags filled with a two-day supply of non-perishable food to each client three days a week on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 5-5:30 p.m. during this COVID-19 pandemic.

Previously, the soup kitchen provided hot prepared meals to clients seven days a week starting 6 p.m. The Archdiocese adjusted the service two weeks ago to provide only boxed meals while closing off its dining room. The homeless were also required to practice social distancing while standing in line and were instructed to leave the area once they picked up their meals.

However, Ministry to the Homeless board members decided to make the adjustments because of growing concerns for soup kitchen staff, volunteers and the clients themselves due to growing non-compliance by some clients.

The breaking point came last Wednesday, April 8 when a fight broke out between several male clients in which one of the men drew a knife, endangering the life of those present.

“We are saddened that all our homeless clients will be impacted by this measure,” said Father Mike Crisostomo, Director of the Ministry to the Homeless. “However, we cannot tolerate this type of behavior and must protect our staff and others from this dangerous and unacceptable action by some of the very people we are called to serve.”

The volunteers from the Catholic Church who helped prepare the meals and were present during the evening of the fight between homeless clients were members from the Christian Mothers.


Ministry to the Homeless is asking its daily sponsors of hot meals to instead donate canned goods to replenish the food bank supply. It has begun a Fill-A-Bag campaign to assist in replenishing its food bank supply, effective immediately.

Interested donors may contact Ministry to the Homeless Manager, Doris Royal at 727-4357, 472-4569 and