For 40 years Willa Bickham and Brendan Walsh have fed, housed, clothed, and helped people on Baltimore's west side. Their rowhouse--now two rowhouses with a side yard--has been a center for draft resistance, a shelter for women and children, and, always, a soup kitchen and food pantry. The couple still serves a midday meal every Wednesday and Thursday to between 100 and 300 people, depending on the season and time of the month. The menu varies from fried chicken to spaghetti, to fish or meatball subs. There is always a salad and fruit as well. "Once a year we have BLTs," says Bickham, who is herself a vegetarian. "When you get those fresh Maryland tomatoes, you gotta put a piece of bacon on it." An all-volunteer effort operating from a professional kitchen (10-burner stove, three-basin sink, etc.), Viva House goes the extra mile to make sure people waiting for a meal can do so comfortably, sitting on benches in the shaded courtyard rather than lining up on the street. "As important as serving the meal is the dignity you can do it with," says Walsh. That's true, but we also really like the chili.