Spotlight on Steubenville: Helping the needy at Friendship Room

AmyLynn Miller

Steubenville Columnist

One of the things I’ve learned about Steubenville is that there is a community of people in this town with hearts that lovingly seek to serve others. One great example of this loving service is found in Friendship Room.

Opened in 2014, Friendship Room is a non-profit in Steubenville that seeks to provide food and toiletries to the homeless, impoverished and those who struggle to provide for themselves in the town of Steubenville. It is run by volunteers Molly McGovern and Victoria Fallon.

Located on Logan Street near Steubenville’s North End, Friendship Room ministers to the needy in the Ohio Valley area and sometimes serves as many as 100 people in a day. Because they serve so many people, Friendship Room relies on the generous donations — food and money — of those in the community.

Because Friendship Room seeks to serve people no matter what time of day, they have food both inside and outside the house. A fridge on the front porch is accessible to anyone at all times and is stocked with food. There is also a sink on the porch, installed in March due to COVID-19, so that those who don’t have running water can wash their hands, especially before eating.

Not only do the volunteers at Friendship Room help out their guests by sharing food and temporary shelter, but they also focus on building relationships with those who come their way.

As their website says, they try to “make a positive impact on all those we meet.” They also have a mini library outside that is stocked with books for the guests of Friendship Room to borrow.

Friendship Room takes the words of Jesus seriously: “For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me. … Whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me” (Matthew 25:35-45).

You can easily get involved in Friendship Room with Franciscan University of Steubenville’s Works of Mercy ministry. On Thursdays from 3:30-4:30 p.m., a group of students meet in the Rosary Circle and drive down to Friendship Room to help in any way that they’re needed: interacting with visitors, taking out the trash, cleaning up the house, making food or even helping take care of the chickens in the backyard.

Patrick Frazier, one of the university co-leads this year for Friendship Room ministry, said, “It’s just beautiful that you have this ministry run by all these people of different faiths and backgrounds that come together to help the poor and needy of our city. And they do it without asking (them) where (they’re) from, how (they) worship, or why (they’re) in this situation; they just see a brother or sister that needs to be treated like a person.”

“If we can’t be there for the poor and broken at our own doorstep, what business do we have calling ourselves disciples of Christ?” said Frazier.

You can learn more about Friendship Room and find out how to donate at their website or on their Facebook page, Friendship Room.

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