St. Matthew’s House Social Enterprises Invite Patronage with a Purpose by Paula Robertson

The remarkable people of St. Matthew’s House live the message of “Hope Starts Here” each and every day. For 32 years, St. Matthew’s House has been providing food, shelter, and the guidance and tools needed to build a better life for those struggling with poverty, food insecurity, homelessness and addiction.

Programs for those in need

The remarkable people of St. Matthew’s House live the message of “Hope Starts Here” each and every day.

St. Matthew’s House is the only emergency homeless shelter in Collier County, sheltering more than 300 men, women and children every night, and providing more than 500,000 meals each year to those in need. For those who have shelter but are food insecure, direct assistance is offered through the St. Matthew’s House food pantry and grocery distribution.

Since 2010, 555 men and women have graduated from the St. Matthew’s House Justin’s Place Recovery Program. In addition,  St. Matthew’s House provides a women’s residential addiction recovery program at Jill’s Place Retreat Center in Alva. The significant success rate of the St. Matthew’s House recovery program has drawn national attention with 85% of those completing  the program still maintaining sobriety two years after graduation.

St. Matthew’s House also provides transitional housing in a structured, supervised environment to enable individuals to flourish as they regain independence.

Social Enterprises provide funds and jobs                                                                                                                                                    Over the years, St. Matthew’s House has developed a unique Social Enterprise Model that includes six thrift stores, a catering  operation and more. “Our social enterprises generate the funds needed for St. Matthew’s House administrative operations so that 100 percent of every donation goes directly to support our life-transforming programs and services,” says St. Matthew’s  House President and CEO Vann Ellison.

St. Matthew’s House social enterprises also provide job training and employment opportunities for residents and graduates. More than 180 men and women are projected to receive employment training assistance over the next year, and a large portion of that training is provided by the social enterprises A commercial catering kitchen and restaurant — Lulu’s Kitchen — is under construction and slated to open this summer at the main campus in Naples.

Lulu’s Kitchen will bring under one roof St. Matthew’s House catering operations, a new culinary training institute, café and 65 seat open to the public restaurant. St. Matthew’s House catering companies, Sprout Catering Company and award-winning Delicious by Design, provide professional catering ranging from private parties to major events for clients throughout Southwest Florida.

Patronage with a purpose

The St. Matthew’s House Car Wash & Detailing Center is located at the main campus on
Airport Pulling Road.

The main St. Matthew’s House campus is located at 2601 Airport Road South in Naples. A flagship thrift store with a popular Starbucks café, Café M25, as well as a car wash and detailing center are located there. Thrift stores also are located in Immokalee, Bonita Springs and Fort Myers.

The public is invited to participate in “patronage with a purpose” by patronizing St. Matthew’s House thrift stores, Café M25, and the St. Matthew’s House Car Wash & Detailing Center on Airport Road South.

St. Matthew’s House, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, does not solicit government funding. For additional information on how you can support St. Matthew’s House in fulfilling its mission to help those in need realize fuller and more productive lives, visit online at or call (239) 774-0500.

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