Home > Church > Social Ministries > Samaritan Homeless Interim Program (SHIP)

Immaculate Conception Parish has long been a supporter of Somerville's Samaritan Homeless Interim Program. SHIP is a response to the increase in need in a variety of social concerns in our region. SHIP provides direct outreach and advocacy for the needy, the homeless, the working poor, and the often forgotten members of our community. SHIP has several programs that our parish participates in and contributes to, including:

SHIP's Mobile Unit serves the homeless and working poor who do not have transportation to a soup kitchen. Our parish also provides volunteers to serve food from the mobile unit from 5:00 to 6:30 p.m. on the first and third Monday of each month. The Mobile Unit team from our parish consists of a driver and two other volunteers who meet the truck at the Franklin Estates site in Somerset. The driver loads the truck with the meals and drives to the site to meet the volunteer servers. The Servers pre-package nutritious meals which have been donated by restaurants or other volunteers, and distribute them to those in need.


SHIP's Galley is run through the efforts of Faith Communities and other volunteers whose purpose is to provide a nutritious meal to any person in need. Our parish provides two teams of volunteers for SHIP's Galley. One team prepares food and the other serves the food on the first Wednesday of each month. Our team leader for preparation organizes the menu and assigns to the other volunteers the portion of the meal they need to prepare. The food is then dropped off at the Parish Center on Tuesday night or Wednesday morning. This provides volunteers who are not able to directly serve the food an opportunity to work together, in fellowship, toward a common goal of feeding the poor. The serving team picks up the food from the Parish Center and transports it to SHIP's Galley in Somerville where the homemade, nutritious meals are warmed and served in a ‘soup kitchen' environment. The program allows volunteers to witness meals going from their kitchens directly to those most in need.


Ziti For The Needy

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Volunteer Testimonial:


"I am grateful for all that I have and feel it is important to give back and help others." - Janet Pernini

"Many of those we help at SHIP are struggling with the complex problems of addiction and homelessness. Volunteering for SHIP is a perfect opportunity to "bloom where you are planted." Through SHIP, we are able to provide a glimmer of hope and good will to those less fortunate who suffer in our own neighborhood."

Dear Brothers  & Sisters in Our Lord Jesus Christ,

When I pray for help and ask God for assistance one of the things He did was to send almost the entire congregation at the Church of the Immaculate Conception in Somerville to the rescue.  Over the past two and a half decades the outpouring of love and assistance helping to up-hold the missions and work of the Samaritan Homeless Interim Program has been like a fountain of fresh water in a hot salty sea.

From Msgr. Brennan down to the Grammar School students the support flowing to SHIP has been unending.  Through prayer, volunteering, educating and your financial support you house the homeless, feed the hungry, cloth the naked, care for the sick and abandoned and so much more.  You surely are the light coming from God’s Light-House showing the way to many caught and battered by the storm tosses seas to SHIP Safe Harbor and Port of Refuge in Somerset County.

God does and has answered our prayers by sending so much help our way through the entire Congregation of the Immaculate Conception Roman Catholic Church in Somerville.  The way you put your faith into action feeds many  souls in many ways.  Thank you and may God Bless you and protect you on you voyage through life.  - Tom O’Leary, Director, Captain for SHIP


Pope John Paul II on the poor: Because of our "love of preference for the poor," we "cannot but embrace the immense multitudes of the hungry, the needy, the homeless, those without medical care and, above all, those without hope of a better future. It is impossible not to take account of the existence of these realities. To ignore them would mean becoming like the ‘rich man' who pretended not to know the beggar Lazarus lying at his gate (Luke 16: 19-31)'"
Encyclical Letter on Social Concerns (1988)


For more information contact:
Jeanine Cavanagh
Director of Social Ministry
(908) 725-1112 x1126