The 15-hour event launched nonprofits’ local observance of National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week. The event was held at the same time that Path of Life Ministries, which started the clinics, is asking for more city funding.
Most participants Saturday night were staff, volunteers or their relatives. A few have been without homes but now work or volunteer to help others. Homeless clients joined in at the center.
Before the night was over, they had a group discussion about Riverside’s lack of services, and some of them agreed to march on City Hall on Dec. 19 – National Homeless Persons’ Memorial Day.
For the next week, Health to Hope, Path of Life Ministries, the Salvation Army, doctors, college students, Walgreens, a hair stylist, a meditation teacher and church ministries will offer health screenings and substance abuse resources, free flu shots and eye exams, free hair cuts and shoes, food, prayers and meditation to homeless people at the day center.
On Saturday before starting their trek, the small band joined 20 other participants at the Salvation Army’s soup kitchen for supper: chili and crackers dished out by volunteers.
Salvation Army Recovery Director Mark Dowding told diners his agency’s mission is to “walk alongside” people trying to end substance abuse and addiction.“A lot of what we do is provide stability in homeless people’s lives,” he said.
Events like this are great examples of the Seizing Our Destiny’s unified city pillar by demonstrating that we are a caring community that has compassion for all of its inhabitants, and engages with one another for a better life for all.
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