ROPE is a baking employment project of the Capuchin Soup Kitchen, a human service organization in Detroit, MI that is sponsored by the Capuchins of the Province of St. Joseph. Under the guidance of Brother Ray Stadmeyer, OFM Cap., ROPE bakes and sells goods, including bread, turnovers, pies and cookies, throughout the archdiocese of Detroit. The project is comprised of four men, three of whom have been incarcerated and a fourth who has just left an alcohol rehabilitation program. All formerly homeless, the four men now live together in a home found through the Detroit Catholic Pastoral Alliance. Their rent is paid for by part of what they earn selling baked goods.
The symbolism behind the ROPE acronym is, “as I’m climbing the rope I’ve always got my hand back to get somebody else,” says Bro. Stadmeyer. “So they are pulling somebody else up as well. We don’t climb up just individually, but we take the next person. That’s why the whole sense of community is important to them. It’s something they aren’t used to.”
He’s quick to point out that the goal of ROPE is not about running a bakery, though their own full-time bakery is hopefully in the near future. Rather, the goal of ROPE is instilling healthy relationships and a sense of community by granting the participants a second chance at life.