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Community center is source of love and support for some in Abbeville

Posted at 7:47 PM, Aug 05, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-05 20:47:25-04

ABBEVILLE — In an Abbeville neighborhood plagued by crime is where you'll find a group of people who are helping families in need.

The Christian Service Center, located on Chevis Street, is run by volunteers and St. Mary Magdalene Catholic Church.

People in Vermilion Parish can go there for a warm meal. They can also pick up things like canned goods and hygiene products.

Some say the service center helped them at rock bottom.

"We were actually just living in a building... no power, no water, no nothing," said Virginia Zinalabeden.

Zinalabeden then found out about the center. She and her three children have been going there for about three years. Her favorite part about the center is the diner, saying it offers so much more than food.

"Having a place to come and have a hot meal, it's really helped us a lot. It's not just a meal. It's like sitting down with family, like you're at a Thanksgiving dinner," said Zinalabeden.

Vance Gaspard was born and raised in Abbeville. He admits he wasn't always on the right path.

"I would need to stop and say a prayer before I say words because sometimes, I'm human, and the old self wants to come out sometime, but that doesn't work anymore," said Gaspard. "It never did. It never did really work."

Gaspard says the Christian Service Center saved him from a life of crime.

"You can come here and not have to worry about all of that. You'd be better off," said Gaspard. "There's nothing but good here... a lot of positive things going on here."

The Christian Service Center serves lunch at 11 a.m. Monday - Wednesday and on Friday. On Thursday, the center for mothers and expectant mothers who are in need of resources or supplies.

The center also accepts donations Monday - Friday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Among the donations accepted is furniture. Volunteers will pick up donated furniture and bring the furniture to someone in need.