The following is an excerpt from a work-in-progress called The Town I Live In.
I was recently reading The Fullerton Observer, and came across an article by Pam Keller, former Fullerton City Council member, in which she lists ways local residents of Fullerton can help homeless people in Fullerton. Here are a few local organizations where you can volunteer:
1.) Mercy House Orange County Cold Weather Armory Emergency Shelter program provides up to 200 beds per night for the homeless at the National Guard Armory, 400 S. Brookhurst, Fullerton. The homeless receive a nutritious meal, a warm shower, and a safe place to sleep. Volunteers pass out donations of clothing and County Service Providers are onsite to provide needed services. The shelter operates between December and March each year. Mercy House is currently trying to find a location to build a year-round center. Go to www.mercyhouse.net for more information and to sign up to volunteer or call Ashleigh at 714-836-7188 x 102 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
2.) Fullerton Interfaith Emergency Services (FIES) Food Distribution Center, located at 611 S. Ford Ave (near Richman Park), is open Monday-Friday 1pm-4pm and helps with bags of food, motel and clothing vouchers and rental and utility assistance (when funds are available). In 2010, 33,000 bags of food were distributed. If you have food to donate, call 714-738-0255. If you would like to volunteer to work at the FIES office, call 714-680-3691 or visit www.fies.us.
3.) FIES Shelter Network is a program for up to 12 single, employable adults who are housed at local congregations for two or three week periods. The guests are able to stay in the program for up to 4 months, pending completion of program milestones. There are 20 hosting and supporting congregations and a goal to serve 50 individuals annually. Call 714-738-0534 if you would like to help out.
I imagine there are more ways people can volunteer, and I bet we can come up with new and creative ways to help those who need it. One idea I've talked about with friends is starting a local, public community garden, where homeless people and residents can work together to grow food. There are a few open lots in Fullerton. How could we make that happen? Check out The Homeless Garden Project: www.homelessgardenproject.org
We could totally do this right here in Fullerton!