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Clean of Heart advocate honored

COLUMBIA—Cathy Hood-Pittenger’s tireless work for the homeless in the Midlands garnered high accolades recently.

She was named a Community Builder by WIS-TV and Mungo Homes, and was featured on a WIS news broadcast Aug. 28.

Hood-Pittenger serves as client advocate at Clean of Heart, a Catholic Charities program that provides laundry services for homeless men and women. She was nominated by Leisa Lipscomb, regional coordinator for Catholic Charities.

“It’s very humbling to receive this award,” Hood-Pittenger said. “I’m so grateful for it, especially for the exposure it gives to Clean of Heart, Catholic Charities and our mission in the Columbia community.”

She said Clean of Heart serves about 70 men and women per week, and around 800 people have made at least one visit to the facility since it opened in 2011.

The program runs four days a week, staffed by Hood-Pittenger and other volunteers who wash and dry clothes for clients while they enjoy hot showers, pick up toiletries and sip a cup of hot coffee.

“We’re working to live out our faith and continue building God’s kingdom through our work here,” Hood-Pittenger said. “The most important work we do comes from building a relationship with the folks we serve.”

As a Community Builder, she received a commemorative construction hat and a $1,000 donation from the Michael J. Mungo Foundation earmarked for Clean of Heart. It will help fund the move from its current location on Laurel Street to a new facility on Pickens Street in early 2016.

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