The purpose of this ministry is to provide resources and a place where the homeless know they can feel welcomed and get the support they need; it has been led by the same dedicated servant for the last 25 years.
“There’s a lot of ‘ask,’ in terms of donations,” Mick Gardner says. “I get donations from all around the county – the Bay area, as well as out of state. The ministry could use the support of the community to satisfy the growing and desperate needs of this expanding homeless situation in Oakland.”
To serve the growing need, the ministry is researching information and will begin shortly to share information about shelters and programs former inmates can go to for help. The ministry provides clothing, information about where the affected can get a free meal, and some monetary support when funds are adequate. The ministry provides a safe environment where the affected can just sit there and talk.
“Sometimes people just want to have a voice or be heard,” Mr. Gardner says.
The Taylor Homeless Ministry has a mobile retail pop-up business, where the indigent can work and earn some extra money.
He has learned that one big factor contributing to the homeless population is the lack of support for the formerly incarcerated. Prison inmates get $250 when they leave; those leaving jail leave with nothing. To help with that, the Taylor Homeless Ministry hosts events for the formerly incarcerated and their families – a day of food, inspirational presentations and a healing circle. They recently held the Second Returning Citizens Inspirational & Healing Luncheon, hosted by No More Tears.
“I just want to get them off the street. … I do it because people who don’t have a voice – the underserved – don’t have the ability to access resources like everybody else. I serve the underserved that’s not being served.”
In order to effectively discuss the impact of homelessness and consider the range of assistance needed, it is necessary to have clear working definitions of terms we often take for granted. Defining homelessness is a complex and continuous task. This document relies primarily on definitions provided by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), which are periodically updated. Read More