By Diane Holloway
Communications & Volunteer Coordinator
“Hospitality: The generous and friendly treatment of visitors and guests; the activity of providing food, drinks, etc,. for people who are guests, visitors or strangers.” That’s the dictionary definition. Here at Trinity Center, we practice radical hospitality, which means loving and serving our neighbors — six days a week, 52 weeks a year. Hospitality is both our mission and our joy.
We smile, we hug, we serve food, clothing, socks and enough coffee to fill a small lake. And coffee at Trinity isn’t just warm liquid brimming with caffeine. It’s also a warm expression of love — made with love by our hard-working kitchen assistant James, served with love by staff and volunteers and donated with incredible love (and generosity) by Texas Coffee Traders.
We are known for loving our neighbors and serving the best coffee in town. The amount of love is impossible to measure, but the coffee is another matter. We estimate that we serve about 200 cups of coffee each day, which means about 1,000 cups a week, 4,000 a month and 48,000 cups a year. Coffee laced with love is abundant in our little basement home; its strength and warmth are both real and symbolic.
Our official mission: “Trinity Center is a faith-based organization conducting programs that serve the spiritual, emotional and physical needs of the poor and homeless in Austin.” Those three “needs” are closely intertwined with the people we serve. The serious business of helping our neighbors find housing and supporting them when (if) that happens is a major undertaking that often incorporates emotional and spiritual needs.
Serving breakfast (yes, with that awesome coffee), providing women with clothing and showers, offering mail service, phones and computers to everyone — these more basic services also touch the emotional and spiritual needs of our neighbors. We have heard many neighbors compliment us on the smiles and warmth that greets them when the come through our door.
Radical hospitality is here, served with love and compassion and endless cups of coffee!