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Homeless volunteer at St. Vincent de Paul in Billings

Posted at 7:22 PM, May 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-04 16:18:14-04

Saint Vincent de Paul served meals on Saturday and Sunday for the third weekend since the program started.

Now some of those who are served are now serving.

Golden Gable is homeless and works during meal time at St. Vincent de Paul.

"I take temperatures, make sure the dining room is clean make sure everybody has a a pleasant experience," he said. "And if somebody gets out of hand I step in. No physical contact, Just ask them to leave."

Gable volunteered when those who are at high risk could not come in because of COVID-19.

"I've just been doing it since it started," Gable said. "I was cold outside. I just came inside because he said he needed some help inside. I just stayed."

St. Vincent de Paul has been good for Gable.

"I have really bad anxiety problems," Gable said. "And this is a safe place for me so I can actually talk here. Like if I'm out on the street, I won't talk to anybody. I came in mostly because my counselors are here. It's a safe place so I like to keep it a safe place. Everybody's always a calming experience."

He talked about the homeless population in Billings.

"There's the mental health homeless," Gable said. "There's a bunch of individuals that will not talk to anybody at all. There's people that like to go around and help each other."

Others who are homeless say Gable is an inspiration.

"Yes, we're out here struggling and everything," said Jamie Vest. "But they still have a heart where they still want to help."

"Yea it does," Sonia Lamewoman said. "At least they're willing to help out. We all help each other out here when we can. we all stick together in groups."

"The more responsibility I have, the more humble I get I think," Gable said. "I've learned it's not all about me. It's the funnest time I've had in my life in a long time."

"Had COVID not happened, we never would have known that the friends that we serve were capable or wanted to step up and help in that way," said Craig Barthel, St. Vincent de Paul executive director. "Remember, these are people that are working for no wages just to help brothers and sisters. It's beautiful."

Barthel said he expects Saint Vincent de Paul to continue with homeless volunteers even after the crisis.