SD Vets for Peace feeding, clothing the homeless

Report from David Gapp via sdvfp.org

Jan 6, 2013

TO: Vets & Supporters,

Just a quick summary of last night's Outreach. My wife Jeanna, a friend Rob Baldwin and his daughter Tesha (who have both gone out before several times) and I went out with 20 sleeping bags, the rest of the sleeping bag pads, 5-6 backpacks, and one box of sweatshirts.
We decided to focus on the "underpasses", as that is where there would be many gathering, since rain was in the forecast. We walked and scouted the areas under the I-5 at Imperial and also at Commercial, chatting with the "residents". Each sidewalk of the streets was packed.

As always, many of the homeless say they are fine with just blankets, but many had just thin blankets. So that is where we gave out the majority of the bags and sweatshirts. We always say "these goods come from donations provided to Veterans For Peace", which inevitably gets a response of "Thanks, I'm a Vet myself, from the (service)". Probably half the bags went to Veterans of the Vietnam War era, estimating by age.

We brought some chocolates and water bottles, which many gladly accepted. We then went over to the seldom-visited area of Barrio Logan, and gave out the 3 remaining sleeping bag sets - a couple living on the streets (an Army Vet) waiting to get into the winter shelter & save money to get back to family in Washington - and another older man wrapped in just a thin blanket sound asleep. But very glad to wake up and crawl into a warm sleeping bag! Finally we stopped by the Bridge at Petco Park, and gave the last sleeping pad to a gentleman I had promised one on Christmas Eve. Everyone there got a sweatshirt. The last of the sweatshirts and backpacks went to a couple (the older man a Vet) that only had a mattress and blankets and were living on 13th & K (quite a few homeless there, and visible to the folks who were parked and attending the quite-expensive "Cavalia Show" in the adjacent parking lot). I promised them some sleeping bags in the future.

Left in storage to distribute:
- 8 sleeping bag sets
- 3 boxes of sweatshirts




Good article on Downtown Homelessness (fyi, I live in the most-impacted area according to the article, The East Village, which is probably why I'm a bit more passionate about the issue... Voice of San Diego is doing a series on Homelessness, good links to other articles, too.
Read about these needy folks in the Voice of San Diego

If you would like to contribute to buy sweatshirts or sleeping bags for the homeless, contact club president Barry Ladendorf at bdlvfp@gmail.com.

On any night, there are hundeds of homeless sleeping on the streets in San Diego, including veterans, and families with women and children.




Dave

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