Friends of St. Vincent Park

Coordinator: Michael Kelly

Phone: 410-962-5078

To Those Who Wish to Make Donations in Our Park:

All who wish to bring donations of food to those in the park must be registered on our park calendar. To get on this calendar, please use the contact information listed above. See this Letter to see why we decided to coordinate the park donors.

Park Guidelines:

  • You must be registered and put on the calendar before you can donate
  • The park is open according to staff availability: usually from 8 AM – 5 PM weekdays and Saturday, and until 1 PM on Sunday. 
  • Leave nothing. Take unused donations with you. Bag and remove trash. Place any litter found in the Park in cans or closed bags and take to the curb.
  • Take all activities inside the Park. Do not use the sidewalk or street, church steps or parking lot to set up and give out donations.
  • Honor the Sunday morning hours of worship. No donations or ministry groups until 1:00 PM on Sundays without express permission from the church.
  • Limit time you spend distributing food to 90 minutes and the amount to 50 people
  • No Clothing – please take all clothing donations to Helping Up Mission, 1029 E. Baltimore Street (a block away)
  • No alcohol or illegal substances
  • No amplified preaching or music
  • No grills
  • No structures, mattresses, cushions, furniture, tarps, or tents

Park History Park Gate

In the 1960’s, Baltimore City created a park next to St. Vincent. The park became a favored hangout for those experiencing homelessness or near-homelessness—some of whom slept in the park. Their right to do so was defended by former pastor Fr. Richard Lawrence when St. Vincent purchased the property in 2000.  In time, the park and church environs at 120 North Front Street became a popular place for charitable donations of clothing and food, and mission visits from area churches and other groups. Donors brought food, clothing, tents, tarps and mattresses, and some people set up semi-permanent shelters in the park. Encampment was prohibited in the fall of 2009. Sleeping in the park was still permitted until the fall of 2019, when, sadly, an inhospitable environment across the parish campus was effected by a group who encamped on the church steps. At this time, the park is closed at night. It is open every day for anyone to rest, talk, read, eat, and be in community with one another.