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Join us for a free meal in our community soup kitchen. All are welcome, no questions are asked, and you may eat until you are satisfied. Click the button above for more information.


This program offers free apparel for interviews or employment. Bring a photo ID to get two outfits for interviews, and bring ID and proof of employment for five outfits. 


Summer youth employment program for teens 14-18 years old.

Opperates June-August and helps teens build employment skills, gain leadership experience, learn about local food systems and food justice, learn to grow organic produce, and be a positive role model for younger children.


Kids' Kitchen

For kids ages 6 to 17, come to this drop-in program, and families and guardians are encouraged to join them. Click above for more information.


Health Realization is a cognitive skill-building meeting to help participants identify barriers in their lives. It is an alternative to 12-step programs like AA and NA for addiction recovery.

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Visit our 6-unit hygiene facility located in the parking lot. Opperates April -October when the Warming Shelter is closed for the season. Each unit offers a priva shower, toilet, and sink for your convenience.


Everything is donated and everything is given away for free. Shoppers may take two bags daily. All are welcome, and we only ask that you sign out when you leave. If you want to donate clothing or other items, click the button above for information.


This program offers referrals and information, free phone, mailboxes for people who are homeless, hygiene items, household goods, and limited assistance with transportation.


Opening in May 2023, this program offers a secure location for guests to store their belongings, free of charge

Damiano Center Programs

Video by The Slice at WDSE featuring the Damiano Center's programs, published December 21, 2019.

Community Kitchen
Community Kitchen

On March 15, 1982, the Community Kitchen was the Damiano Center's founding program. This is currently the largest on-site meal program in Northeastern Minnesota, serving sixteen meals each week.


No questions are asked of the people who come for a meal, and everyone is welcome to eat. In addition, we make available day old bakery products and produce for people to take home.



  • Breakfast: 8:30 am – 9:30 am (Daily)

  • Lunch: 11:30 am – 1 pm (Mon, Wed, Fri, Sat, Sun)

  • Dinner: 5 pm – 6 pm (Fri, Sat, Sun)

For more information, contact:

Flora Woodfork

Community Kitchen Manager


If you are trying to reach the kitchen, please call: 218-726-0500

Damiano Center Turns 40!

A video about the Community Kitchen and 40th Anniversary by The Slice at WDSE, published March 23, 2022.

Kids' Kitchen


Kids' Kitchen works to reduce childhood hunger and malnutrition by providing:


  • Nutritious meals

  • Nutrition education

  • A nurturing and fun place for kids after school and in the summer


Kids' Kitchen was started in response to a growing number of children coming to the Community Kitchen unaccompanied by an adult. We realized there was a major, unmet need in our neighborhood.

Kids' Kitchen is primarily about making sure that all children in our neighborhood have access to quality, healthy food, but it is so much more than that.

We emphasize nutrition education through the fun, hands-on experience of preparing food, and also offer organic gardening. Other activities involve art, physical activities, and other activities to honor the culture and heritage of the diverse children who come to Kids' Kitchen.

Summer Food Corps

During the summer months, we offer youth employment training to teens, teaching them skills in gardening, food service, childcare, and building their leadership and STEM skills in the process. Watch the video at right to learn more.

Please inquire with Maria if you are interested in participating.

Kids' Kitchen Program Hours

Mon - Thu

2:30 pm - 5:30 pm

Dinner is served at 4:30 pm to children and their families in Kids' Kitchen.

For more information about Kids' Kitchen or the Summer Food Corps, contact: 

Maria Alicea

Children's Program Manager
Room 102 -

Children's Programming
Free Store
Clothes That Work
Free Store

Each year hundreds of thousands of articles of clothing and household goods are distributed to people in need. The Clothing Exchange opened in 1983, and was renamed the Free Store in 2018. It is primarily operated by volunteers from the community. All items are donated, and all are given away free of charge to those in need.


Program Hours 


Mon-Wed, and Friday

9 am - 3 pm.

Closed Thursdays.

Donations that we accept include:

  • household goods of all sorts (bedding, kitchen wares, towels, etc.)

  • small appliances that work (toasters, coffee makers, small microwaves)

  • casual clothing and footwear in good and clean condition

  • plastic grocery bags


If you are conducting a clothing drive, or if you want to bring a large donation (more than a trunk load of items), please call ahead.


We do not accept:


  • dirty or broken items

  • beds, mattresses, or cribs

  • car seats for children

  • furniture

  • large appliances (refrigerators, stoves)

  • electronics (TVs, VCRs, computers, printers, any other computer peripherals, etc.)

  • Medical equipment

Donation Hours

Mon-Wed, and Friday.

9am - 3pm

Closed Thursdays.


Call 218-722-5247 with questions or if you have a large donation.

Are donations tax deductible?


Your donations of clothing or other items are tax deductible. Please ask us for a receipt. We are not able to place a value on the goods that you have donated or provide you with an itemized list of your donations.

Clothes That Work


This program provides work appropriate apparel for interviews and for people beginning a new job. Staff and volunteers guide customers to appropriate apparel for various types of positions. In addition to providing two outfits for job seekers or five outfits for those who already have a job, we also provide accessories, hygiene, and beauty products.

If you are seeking services, please bring photo ID. Once you have a job, bring proof of employment. Shoppers are eligible every six months.

Program Hours:

Mon-Wed, and Friday 9 am - 3 pm. Closed Thursdays.

For more information or questions,

contact Donna Verhel,

Clothes That Work Coordinator

Room 207 - 218-722-5247

Health Realization
Health Realization

Health Realization is a cognitive skills-based program that helps individuals manage stress and work through barriers. It is often considered an addiction recovery program or support group, and while it is effective for people with addictions, it can assist with a wide range of life issues. This is one of the few alternatives to twelve-step recovery programs in our area.

Some of the issues that Health Realization can assist with include:


  • Stress management

  • Gaining a positive perspective

  • Chemical dependency


Program Hours:

Wednesday at 7pm

Women's only meeting:

Sunday at 7pm

(please arrive 15 minutes before the meeting - building doors will be locked before the meeting begins)

For more information: Call 218-336-1034 or email Lisa and Jenny at

Community Services

Program Schedule 

Mon-Wed, and Friday 9 am - 3 pm. 

Closed Thursdays.

For more information or questions,

contact Robin at 218-727-1834 or email


Community Services

Community Services provides information and referrals. Our trained staff specialize in helping people with emergency needs. We serve about 2,500 people annually with a wide variety of services.


We offer connections to resources that can help in situations of:


  • homelessness 

  • chemical dependency

  • domestic abuse

  • unemployment

  • mental health issues

Direct services provided include:

  • hygiene items

  • mailboxes for people who are homeless

  • household items (with new lease)

  • bus tokens

  • free telephone line

  • gas vouchers/spend-down bus passes (please call and inquire about requirements)

For information about requirements and availability of gas vouchers and bus passes contact:

Robin Tomczak Community Services Coordinator, Room 209


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Hygiene Unit
Hygiene Unit

The Hygiene Unit provides access to six shower/restroom units to any person in need. Our trained staff specializes in sanitizing used units after every use.


We offer the following resources when utilizing the shower program:

  • shampoo, conditoner, bodywash

  • towels and washcloth

Drop-ins welcome. Come to the parking lot doors and you will be greeted by Damiano staff. For more information, contact:

John Williams

Facilities Manager



Check out this video by The Slice at WDSE featuring the Hygiene Unit, published April 14, 2021.

The Hygiene Unit is open seasonally April- October in conjuction with the Warming Shelter.


Hours of opperation:

Mon-Fri from 9 AM- 3PM.

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