Wednesday evening we got to sit down with Mike Perez, the Development Director at Faith Mission, to discuss where we would fit in best with their mission to serve the homeless. In respect to his time and the wonderful people that are staying there we did not film within the shelter.
Mike took us on a tour of their facility and we visited every little corner and crevice of the shelter. We were able to come in around the dinner hour and see the 150 people who had come through to dine there that evening. We also were able to see all of the organization that goes behind serving and arranging the food for these meals and the incredible donations that come in to help with their free drop-in meals.
We visited their chapel and learned how they try to offer life-changing solutions through their in-house programs. Mike stressed that they try to figure out the cause for their homelessness and then decide a course of treatment so that they can live on their own. They offer classes and have a mental health program that helps their residence with addictions and mental illness. Their goal is to help give them the skills they need so that they are ready to take on a job, basic life skills (money management being one of them), & recovery support with a faith-based foundation.
After we toured the facility, we sat down and asked Mike how we could help them with what they are doing. He said the very best thing we could do for them, at this time, would be assisting them with their “welcome kits.” A welcome kit is given to each resident when they come in to stay at the shelter.
Each Welcome Kit would consist of the following:
- Shaving Cream
- Body Wash
- Shower Tote/Storage Container
I asked Mike to also think of what they might need on a grander scale, as they are in the process of renovating a new space for their women and this was his…
Dream Wish List:
Appliances needed for the 915 Benham project. All of the appliances need to be energy star rated and all in color white if possible:
- 7- 2’wide Dishwashers
- 4- 1’10” wide under cabinet Refrigerators
- 4- 30”-32” wide standard Refrigerators
- 10- small to medium handing microwaves
After we finished making our wish list, we headed over to my car where I had many of these:
A big thank you to Walmart & their great 11 Moms venture as well as Jakks Pacific for giving me the opportunity to share these gifts with these incredible people. This is exactly the reason I am in 11 Moms and I am thankful for the opportunity to share within my community. These gifts will be given to the children when celebrating those special occasions in their life, like birthdays & Christmas.
Now that we know what we can do for them, we have made a goal to provide 50-100 kits (depending on our donations) and provide one appliance on their dream list.
Is it possible? I truly believe that anything is possible and my next steps will be:
1. Getting as much press involved as I can for our efforts.
2. Trying to raise donations to put towards the cost of our welcome kits.
3. Researching & finding the best price I can on the items for the kits.
4. Researching & finding the best price I can on one of the items on their appliance wish list.
If you have any suggestions for tackling this project, I am all ears! Has anyone bought in bulk like this? Any resources or steps you can recommend?