It’s a comfortably warm evening in Santa Ana. Blocks away, young families are strolling through a tree-lined Thursday Farmer’s Market.
Baskets of fresh berries overflow, lemonade in tall glasses, but here in a parking lot at the corner of Ross Street and Santa Ana Boulevard — site of Orange County’s Walk of Fame — there’s an entirely different gathering.
Meet Boston. He’s 68 years old, but the years on the streets run together.“I’ve been homeless and on the streets for 23 years,” Boston says in between bites of hearty chili. “My SSI is just every month. I get a room and a shower. It’s better than nothing.” But not much better.
The other three weeks of the month, Boston sleeps outside, on the streets. He has some friends out here, and they watch out for each other at night, but life exposed is dangerous, lonely and frustrating. Decent food is hard to find. “I love this chili,” Boston smiles, the deep lines on his face framing a pair of kind eyes.
“If this truck didn’t show up, I don’t know what I’d eat.”
Our Chili Van meets the homeless where they live three days every week, serving a delicious dinner of chili, freshly baked bread and coffee. For men and women who often eat only once or twice each day, the Chili Van is a lifesaver.
Thank you for everything you do to bring hope and light to men, women and children throughout Orange County. So many live on the streets. Many others live paycheck to paycheck, one small disaster from homelessness.
Feeding the hungry people in Orange County is part of our calling as a Rescue Mission.
Across town, in the Village of Hope, you’ll see faces alive with joy. Families, once torn apart by poverty, homelessness and hunger, sit together around a table, eating a good, hot meal together. You see, these men, women and families have grabbed hold of the outstretched hand offering them hope — whether it was in the form of a bowl of chili or a box of groceries — and admitted their need for more than a meal. They need help getting on their feet. They need hope for a new life.
That’s what you offer our community through your partnership.