Brother brings food, drink and hope to the homeless

Team of volunteers is behind Brother Al's mission to help those on the street

Brother Al Mascia
Brother Al Mascia

DETROIT – Brother Al Mascia spends his days helping the people of Metro Detroit.  

He is the Street Ministry Coordinator at St. Aloysius Catholic Church in Detroit and he is leading a team of volunteers to help people living on the streets.

Brother Al is usually one of four people riding a bike around the city, feeding hot and cold sandwiches to the homeless.  He also offers them hot and cold drinks.

"A lot of people can't afford to get a cup of coffee in the morning, so it warms them up and brightens their day," said Woodrow Wilson Gaines, who uses Brother Al's services.

Many of Brother Al's "customers" have come to rely on his generosity.

"If this didn't exist, a lot of these people here wouldn't eat today," said Jennifer, who uses the service.

Brother Al is able to complete this mission with a lot of volunteers working behind the scenes.

"To me he's like a modern day apostle. When I talk to him, when I'm around him, I really feel like I am with someone special," said Brian Pastoria, a partner of Harmonie Park Media Group and the U Detroit Cafe.

"We usually take out 200 or so sandwiches, about 15 gallons of hot beverages," said Brother Al.

The sandwiches often are donated by churches across Metro Detroit. They are also made in the kitchen of the U Detroit Cafe by volunteers.  Employees from Compuware often donate their time to make food for Brother Al.

Pastoria and his partners donated their kitchen to Brother Al because they don't use it.   Brother Al uses the kitchen to make coffee and other drinks and it's also used by volunteers to make sandwiches.

"That they give to us out of the goodness of their hearts so we really couldn't do it without their help," said Brother Al.

"We're all chipping in and it's pretty cool," said Pastoria.

Brother Al serves food to the homeless Tuesday through Saturday almost every week. Now that it's colder, he also hands out hats, gloves and scarves as they're donated.

If you would like to help Brother Al's cause you can send donations to:

1427 Randolph
Detroit, MI 48226