Catholic Worker Hospitality House of San Bruno - Providing meals and shelter in San Bruno, California.

July Update

by Ella Chatfield-Stiehler

In April I was repeatedly asked by our guests when we were going to return to our regular sit-down indoor serving and shower services at the dining room. Back then the hope was that by June or July things would get back to normal. But with COVID cases spiking after a lull in new cases, it’s clear that life will not be returning to normal anytime soon. In hindsight our desire for an early return to “normalcy” was quite naive. We hope, maybe also naively, that we can return to inside dining by the time the cold and wet weather returns in November. But realistically it most likely won’t be until a vaccine is developed – hopefully sometime in 2021. Until then we will continue doing what we’ve been doing the last few months – serving lots of hot and hearty meals to-go and sheltering four to six people at night. We remain focused on keeping our core service projects of the dining room and homeless shelter open and safe for our guests.



In early July we closed the dining room and shelter for a much needed week long vacation. We had skipped our usual spring vacation in April as we just could not justify closing down our essential services when so many other places were not open. Even though things are not totally opened up at present, there seems to be more places open for guests to go to for the services they need. Plus, we were pretty damn tired and I, at least, was getting a bit grumpy with our guests – a sure sign that it’s time for a vacation. Our regular vacations help keep us refreshed and nice to those we serve. It was great having some time off and it’s great being back at work at the dining room and shelter.


We have always had chickens at our house on Second Avenue in San Bruno. We love the fresh eggs and pastoral ambiance they give to the backyard. However, the chicken coop that I built over 20 years ago had recently started to look pretty bad – embarrassingly bad. So I, along with Mike from the Second Avenue house, updated the chicken coop. We replaced rotted boards and support beams. We also upgraded the roof by extending its coverage and replacing the tarps that were such an eyesore with plywood and shingles. Now the coop looks great and will be solid for another 20 years of service to our chickens.
As always, we thank you for your continued generous support of our work with those in need in our community.  It is through such kindness that we are able to continue feeding the hungry, sheltering the homeless, and comforting the afflicted.


Peter Stiehler
Catholic Worker Hospitality House