The year was 1988.

  • Ronald Reagan was President.
  • Canada hosted the Winter Olympics for the first time.
  • Laser eye surgery was invented.
  • Rain Man was the highest-grossing movie, and a gallon of gas cost 91 cents.
  • The population of Mesa reached nearly 280,000.
  • Red Mountain High School opened.

It was against a backdrop of pop culture, technological breakthroughs, exploding population growth, politics and commerce that a new ministry outreach was born: Paz de Cristo.

In February, a Town Hall meeting was held at St. Tim’s where parishioners decided to sponsor a food service and family shelter in the East Valley. The hunger, poverty and homeless crisis had begun. Paz de Cristo became the focus of all of St. Timothy’s Corporal Works of Mercy: feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, clothe the naked and shelter the homeless.

The vision included an interfaith component where multiple faith communities would pool both financial and human resources to serve the needs of our neighbors in the East Valley.

In July, the first location opened: a little yellow, rented house at 559 S Country Club Drive. An emergency food pantry and clothing bank was put in motion. Volunteers provided information and referrals to other community services.

On September 15, the first meal was prepared at the little yellow house. Food, tables, chairs and all were transported to the in the parking lot at the corner of Hibbert & Main Streets in Mesa. Twelve guests were served!

In the beginning, two meals were provided each week. By January 1989, dinner was served every night of the year.


Paz soon outgrew its home on Country Club Drive. A new building site was secured, ground breaking was on October 2, 1993, and shells of the new metal buildings were donated.

The first meal in the new facility was a breakfast served on January 15, 1994. The blessing and dedication of the buildings was on February 12, 1994.


  • As needs in the community have grown, our programs have expanded beyond the evening meal service. Here are just a few of the headlines:
    1. Nurse Judy and the Mobile Medical Clinic give access to medical care, 2005
    2. Paz de Cristo becomes a separate 501(c)3, nonprofit organization, October,  2008
    3. Jobs Program Begins, March, 2014
    4. Paz Participates in the Mesa Mayor’s “Housing Our Heroes” Campaign, July, 2014
    5. New Hope Garden Supplies Fresh Herbs and Vegetables, April, 2015
    6. Paz Facilities Receive Major Upgrades, November, 2015
    7. New Shower Program Begins
    8. Free Haircuts by Licensed Cosmetologists and Barbers are Offered
    9. Guests Gain Access to Free Professional Clothing and Casual Wear
    10. Arizona Identification and Birth Certificates Equip People to Find Jobs
    11. Mail Service is Now Available
    12. New, Refrigerated Truck Enables Transportation of Fresh and Frozen Foods
    13. Marc Community Resources Office with Three Navigators Opens On-Site, March, 2018

Caring, generous donors and volunteers are the heart and soul that fuel Paz de Cristo’s efforts. Thanks to you, Paz has become an integral part of the network of services for people in need in the East Valley.

We need your help to continue our mission to Feed, Clothe and Empower.



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Did You Know?

Of every dollar given to Paz de Cristo, 93 cents goes directly to help people struggling with hunger, poverty and homelessness.