Posts Tagged ‘food’

Kindness

Monday, July 18th, 2011

“Somewhere near you, somebody right now is trying to help the indigent and poor – providing food, shelter, clothing or simple kindness.” –  Tony Snow (1955-2008)

Basic Human Needs

“Wouldn’t it be neat / If the people you meet / Had shoes upon their feet / And something to eat? / And wouldn’t it be fine, / if all human kind had shelter? – – Basic human needs / Basic human deeds / Doing what comes naturally / Down in the garden / Where no one is apart / Deep down in the garden / The garden of your heart. – – And wouldn’t it be daring / If folks started sharing / Instead of comparing / What each other was wearing?” – Wavy Gravy

 

Photo by L.E. Erickson

They did not come to be served, but to serve.

Thursday, June 30th, 2011

On Saturday, June 25, I attended an event held from noon to 3:00 p.m. under the Washington-Jefferson Bridge, an outreach to those experiencing homelessness in Eugene. Hosted in partnership by the University Fellowship (UFC) and Free People who serves Eugene’s homeless community, everything at this event was free: music, food, beverages, haircuts, clothing, photo sessions and crafts for kids… all provided by volunteers.

Jennifer Brown and her partner Alonzo Cole, along with their children Jorden Cole 5, Zoie Garcia 3 and their friend Celeste Lee 7 attended the event.  What brought them is best shared in Jennifer’s own words:

“What brought me to the event was my friend Starrla who is also my daughter’s (Zoie) aunt and Jeff, who is like my dad – we call him Papa.  Papa is currently homeless and during the summer he enjoys it most.  I myself have lived through the homeless times during my childhood living in cars 5th wheels and tents, in my teen years, up in the mountains off the side of the road. Having parents with drug addictions led to our homelessness.  Although I am currently unemployed and life has thus had its struggles, I am doing okay and have a mobile home to call my own.  I am very fortunate for the resources the community has to offer and am currently a volunteer at St. Vincent de Paul and getting work experience.”

I took photos of Jennifer and her family as they were waiting for the volunteer photographer to do a photo session with them. I told the kids that they could practice their poses with me… “see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil”.

 

Free portraits.

 

People lined up for the opportunity to pose for a free portrait session with friends and loved ones, like Jennifer’s family and these two buddies here:

 

I ran into my homeless friend Bobie and hung out with her as she had her hair cut by a volunteer. Although Bobie has had an extremely difficult year, when we talk she not only shares some of her heartbreaks and problems with me, but she shares her amazing, optimistic perspective on what her life could be like in the future, IF…. I think her new look reflects that vibrant glimmer of hope that resonates in her voice and eyes when she talks about her dreams.

 

Bobie before her haircut.

People lined up and patiently waited their turn for a free haircut.

The new Bobie!

I too am thankful for the resources our community has to offer those experiencing homelessness, and the messages of love in action, faith and hope in Christ shared by UFC and the mission of Free People to serve the homeless, as they say “without requirements or expectations, offering practical assistance for those in need.”

Click here for a list of other resources and social services available to the homeless community in Eugene/Springfield (Lane County, Oregon).

 

More photos from the event:

Gathering at Washington-Jefferson Park.

Free music. Free clothing.

Food prepared and served by volunteers.

Free medical advice.

Face-painting and crafts for kids of all ages.

by L.E. Erickson

 

Life Bein’ A Homeless in Eugene, OR

Wednesday, June 15th, 2011

When we first arrived in Eugene we was only going to stay for about a week, then we was headed back to California to settle down. It has been two months now and we are still here in Eugene.

I thought being homeless here would be like it was everywhere else “hard and uneasy.” But it’s not like I expected, it’s better. There are so many opportunities and resources for us homeless it’s incredible. Here in Eugene they have feeds downtown Monday thru Thursday at a diner that serves three sides, which is actually very good food and the people who volunteer are really nice people who take four hours out of their own day four days a week just for us homeless. That should only show that not all people think only of themselves but of others too!

On Saturday at twelve a group of people get together at Washington Jefferson to feed not only homeless but everyone. On Friday the church feeds, so unlike bein’ in California with very little ways to keep from bein’ hungry, Eugene has the best sources for homeless that keeps us striving for another day. Most everyone thinks bein’ homeless means that you’re a dirty and unhealthy bum, but that would be the largest judgment on homeless anyone could ever make. Us homeless in Eugene have almost more resources to keep our hygiene to its max. For example, homeless have the Mission who not only lets us shower but also lets you get clothing and tennis shoes almost when needed. We have the Service Station, which feeds you and also lets you shower, and on top of that, they have washers and dryers, which to me as a homeless is very thankful for the opportunity to be able to experience bein’ homeless in Eugene.

People ask why I chose to settle down in Eugene and I tell them that, because of all the resources, Eugene has inspired me to not just want to better myself but Eugene makes me feel like I have to. That if I can do it anyone can and that is what I feel I should do for myself as a homeless. I want the people who does for the homeless to be able to see me one day soon and be able to say I knew you could do it, all you need was opportunity and encouragement from others. That what I hope for myself is to achieve what I’ve been striving for 27 years of my life, freedom from being under judgment.

By Michelle Gunn

Single Mothers

Monday, May 9th, 2011

The one thing that I hope we can all agree on is the sadness we feel when we see single mothers struggling to survive on the streets with 2 kids, in a broken down van, with no place to go. It’s something we wish wasn’t true but it is. It’s a fact of life but what are we to do? Smile and walk on by, take her kids and send her over the edge. No, we should stop and ask what we can do to help with some clothes, food, a place to stay, or maybe a job. Be it housework, yard work, or something for a little cash so that the kids can stay warm or eat. What do you think? What would you do? What if it was you?

by Bobie Goddard