Singling out the mailbox services, she said that the center’s closure would leave many homeless guests without a mailing address that is necessary to receive Social Security benefits and other parcels.
“If you don’t have income, you can’t pay for a P.O. box, so that’s not an option for a lot of folks,” Shannon Thomas said. “You can’t get mail at a shelter unless you’re staying there for a long time, and a lot of shelters have limits for stay.”
Roger Conant Woodberry, a New Hampshire-native who has been using Bread and Jams’ services for the past few months, echoed Shannon Thomas’ sentiments.
“A mailbox in Cambridge is 77 bucks for six months,” Conant Woodberry said. “If you’re in this kind of situation, it’s really money you don’t want to be spending.”
According to Conant Woodberry and other guests at Bread and Jams, there are no other substitutes for the program, which provides a space to sit down and socialize in addition to food.
“This provides a lot of stability and community,” Conant Woodberry said. “You see the same people on a daily basis.”
With the center’s closure, that community will be forced to find other options in the greater Cambridge area that are less reliant on federal funds than Bread and Jams.
The Salvation Army, located in Central Square, also runs a drop-in center that serves hot meals during the day. Captain Armida Harper said that the center relies on individual donations from the community and local grants in addition to state and federal aid.