Focus on the Homeless Educational and Fundraising event was held on September 24 at the Faith Lutheran Church in Fair Oaks. The event was organized by two prominent non-profit organizations working with people experiencing homelessness, Mercy Holistic Ministry and Bridging Initiatives International.
The theme of the event was ‘Together we can make a difference’ and was attended by over 70 people from all walks of life. Founders of Mercy Holistic Ministry and Bridging Initiatives International spoke about the work of their organizations; the need of the people they serve; shared volunteer opportunities; invited participants to engage and support the organizations. They have addressed the question why anyone should care to respond to the homeless crisis in Sacramento and surrounding cities including the shocking fact that just in the past three years the homeless population in Sacramento has nearly doubled to 10,000 people.
Speaking at the event, Kathie Barkow from Aspire Consulting highlighted, “how housing affordability crisis with rising rents is a major contributing factor to homelessness.” She also said prevention of homelessness requires addressing a wider systemic problem starting from our education and health systems to parenting. She referred to recent studies that tell us that 40% of the homeless population are people with disability or chronic health conditions.
Marion Smith, Site Supervisor at Mercy Holistic Ministry, was a panel member at the event. He underlined, “There is no one-size-fits all solution that addresses the various issues surrounding the homeless crisis. But everyone can decide and be a part of a solution by doing something as opposed to feeling helpless to do anything about it.”
The event was made colorful with live music and sale of different auctions items to fundraise to support the work of the two organizations with people experiencing homelessness.