As a timely comparison, the Rev. Brian VanFossen likened United Churches Food Pantry's homelessness to that of Mary and Joseph as they reached Jerusalem.
And just as they had found a place to stay in a manger, now the food pantry also has a temporary home: at Monsignor Castellano Center for St. Joseph the Worker Parish, on the corner of Hepburn Street and Park Avenue.
"In the course of working together, we're going to do a temporary lease," said VanFossen, of St. Joseph the Worker Parish.
That lease will continue until July next year.
"It's a great way of fostering empty space," VanFossen said.
Gwen Bernstine, United Churches of Lycoming County executive director, said she is really grateful to the parish.
"We think it's wonderful to be able to stay in the same general area that most of our consumers are living," Bernstine said. "I'm just really amazed at the parish's concern for the poor and their willingness to move it along."
The food pantry will move in Monday and is expected to be open and running Tuesday.
"Those in need will have no delay in their service," she said.
That availability is possible because there are no renovations that need to be done. The center already is handicap accessible. The only work that needed to be done is to get the keys and heating ready to go.
The idea for using the center as a new home for the pantry came about a few weeks ago, when United Churches discovered The Campbell Street Community Center would be closing.
Those involved with St. Joseph the Worker Parish asked if the parish's empty buildings could be used, so they prayed about the Monsignor Castellano Center.
"That prayer brought us to the point we approached United Churches of Lycoming County to see if they would be interested in seeing the space," VanFossen said. "We showed them the space and they were very interested."
They heard from the diocese Thursday, which is when they started to get everything ready.
The United Churches Food Pantry will accept donations between 9 a.m. to noon on Mondays. Clients can come to pick up food between 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays.
In addition to that food pantry, another one is located in the parish's administrative building already that is open on Wednesdays, which allows a food pantry to help people three out of the five days in a work week, VanFossen said.
Both pantries will be run separately.
He knew a number of people in the area needed a hand-up, not a hand-out, to take care of their families and get them through the difficult economic times, so he approached those involved with the decision.
" 'What do you think?' " he asked them, and they responded, "Father, if it can happen, that would be fantastic."