Holy Cross opens new outreach center

April 30, 2021 Jaime DeJesus
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Members of the Holy Cross Brooklyn Outreach Center gave a preview of their new location in Sunset Park April 17.

The group began feeding the homeless in 2008 by making sandwiches in the basement of Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Church on Ridge Blvd. and 84th Street. Now they make, package and deliver more than 600 meals a month.

HCBOC President Maria Vasaka-Monioudis said the group wanted to reach even more people.

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“We had Hurricane Sandy and we responded and said we need to do something more,” she said. “That’s when we formed the outreach center. We reached out to other churches and said we are going to feed as many as we can and start delivering to people.”Vasaka-Monioudis said the board of directors wanted a brick-and-mortar location that people could go to on a regular basis for help, free food and clothing.

“We have refrigerators filled with food , people picking out what they need to help them access benefits,” she said. 

At the preview event, the group received a special gift from Sandy and Venetia Vallas. They donated a year’s rental expenses for the center and a year’s insurance expenses on the delivery truck in memory of their father Theodore Vallas, who died earlier this year.

Sandy has been a member of the Dyker Heights Civics Association and is a parishioner of Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Church

“I loved Theodore Vallas,” said HCBOC First Vice President Zoe Koutsoupakis. “He was a beautiful man with a heart of gold. I know how proud he would be of his family for their generosity in helping feed the homeless and poor. He is smiling down from heaven on his family right now.” 

The center, at 6022 Fourth Ave., is open six days a week. The official grand opening is June 5.

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