Saturday, December 8, 2007

Loaves & Fishes

Today I went to Loaves & Fishes, which is located in Sacramento, CA. This is a place where the homeless people can go to get food, services, and are treated with respect. Everyone there is considered a guest.

I met with the Executive Director and she showed me all around. We went to one outdoor area called Friendship Park. This is a private park for the daytime use of their guests and they only have four rules: 1. No Drugs. 2. No alcohol. 3. No violence. 4. No threat of violence.

At Friendship Park, they have clean and fully stocked bathrooms, day storage, breakfast, showers and free telephones. They even have a Library with a computer learning center for their guests. We walked around the park and people would smile and nod and say hello. I have driven by this park many times and often thought it might be scary, but after walking around and meeting some people, I felt very safe, comfortable, and welcome.

They have several services at Loaves & Fishes, some of which include: a free mental health program for those who do not have insurance; an on-site free legal clinic to help with things like illegal camping, trespassing and light rail tickets; a dining room where a full course, home cooked noontime meal is served every day of the year; a day care kennel with pet food, vaccines, medical care and spay & Neuter programs are available; and several other places that help homeless women and children. There is even a school for homeless children.

I am going to attempt my first book (that is not a children's book) and it is going to be about the homeless. I am very excited because if I get the book done and it gets published, I am going to make sure some of the profits go right to Loaves & Fishes. This would be my little way of helping.

They do not solicit or accept government funds, but rely on private donations. They help homeless women and men, and like I said, they even have a school for homeless children. They really do care about their guests and I think it is a good place to help. They don't know I am writing my blog about them, but I feel it is important and I want to share. Every month they have over 1000 volunteers and I think that is fabulous. I hope someday there won't be a need for places like this, but until that day gets here, let's help make someones day a little more bearable and help them out.

If you would like to send a donation, their address is:

Loaves & Fishes, P.O. Box 2161, Sacramento, CA 95812.

P.S. Some of what I wrote came directly from their brochure. Some of what I wrote didn't. But, it is good stuff so I made sure to include what they had written on here and wanted to make sure they got credit.
(c) Cindy Breninger All Rights Reserved.