Daily Point of Light # 2352 Feb 7, 2003

Haggeo Gautier runs three programs for the Christian Service Center for Central Florida: Family & Emergency Services (pantry items, clothing, financial assistance and referral), Daily Bread (serving 500 each day a nourishing noontime meal), and Fresh Start (a men’s residential program). Mr. Gautier is a wonderful person filled with patience, compassion and dedication to helping anyone that he meets. His patience is evidenced in myriad situations. Once when a mentally challenged homeless client threw a bowl of soup on Mr. Gautier in the soup kitchen, he just walked out laughing at the noodles hanging on his head. Race and background are not an issue to him. Mr. Gautier greets people with a smile and a hug, and does whatever is necessary to get someone the help they need. In addition to his duties at the Center, Mr. Gautier is an ordained minister. After “taking a break” from the church for several years, he felt drawn to help the homeless find Christ and purpose in their lives. Two years ago he opened the “Inner City Community Church” in the downtown area of Orlando. He wanted a place for the homeless to worship each Sunday where they would feel comfortable and welcomed. Many homeless people feel embarrassed to walk into a church where others are dressed up and look nice. Recently Mr. Gautier began a new project—he has opened a Friday night coffee house. It is simply a place to go for a free cup of coffee and some friendly fellowship. He said he wanted to keep the homeless off the streets and away from drugs, alcohol and panhandling. In addition, Mr. Gautier has found time to volunteer at other organizations in the area and to raise three teenage children. Mr. Gautier received the 1999 Florida Coalition for the Homeless outstanding service award for his outstanding work to the community. He gives his heart, his time and his soul to helping the homeless and needy.