For clients who experience homelessness, what

they eat is often

dictated by their circumstances.

"Dining with Friends," a new initiative implemented at Family & Children's Agency, brings together those experiencing homelessness as they share a meal together at a local restaurant hosted by agency board members and other volunteers.

For many clients, the experience gives them the opportunity to interact with others and to partake in what many may take for granted -- being served a meal at a restaurant.

"We very often take for granted that many of us can go out to eat, choose options from a menu and be served," said Chris Jachino, director of homeless services at Family & Children's Agency. "Mainstream society does this -- they sit around the table and have conversations, but our clients don't have homes, families or social support."

The new initiative has been a remarkable experience for many and has allowed those experiencing homelessness the opportunity to connect with others in their community and to feel less isolated.

The latest Dining with Friends dinner took place on Oct. 17 at Rio Border Cafe Mexican Restaurant in Norwalk. Eight clients attended.

For information, contact Jachino at 203-523-5334 or email

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