Margo has received help from the Mission for at least a decade. We visit her daily with food, blankets, medication and love, often prepared to clean her up on the spot. She has been in and out of housing for years, and the Mission is currently working in collaboration with Bay Area Community Services (BACS) to get her back into housing. November 2022
A GoFundMe campaign was created in July 2022 to gather donations to purchase a used van for Pastor Vinnie. Without a reliable van, Pastor Vinnie is not able to service his clients and so many people count on him. In November the goal of $15,000 was met and matching funds were obtained so Pastor Vinnie was able to purchase a used van.
I want to thank everyone from the bottom of my heart for donating to Pastor Vinnie's GoFundMe campaign. Pastor Vinnie purchased a 2009 Ford F-250 cargo van with low mileage - everything he wanted. He had 3 of his mechanic friends look at it before making the purchase to make sure it was the right one. For those of you who know Pastor Vinnie, I am sure you can imagine how appreciative he is for your kindness and generosity.
Vinnie works 24/7 helping those on the street.
Sometimes he is able to get them housing and other times he supports them wherever they are. If you've ever had the opportunity to meet Pastor Vinnie, you know he is amazing and he never stops working. He is 1000% dedicated to helping those who need his help. I am so grateful that so many of you came together to help make his van happen.
Mission for the Homeless is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit charitable corporation. We distribute blankets, food, clothing and tents to the homeless seven nights a week in Oakland, California. We visit approximately 120 homeless people every night.
Read about the lives of some of these people in the cover story of the August 6, 2014 issue of the East Bay Express , and more recently at https://www.kalw.org/post/pastor-vinnie-s-one-man-mission-fight-homelessness#stream/0, and https://www.eastbayexpress.com/oakland/oakland-expends-considerable-money-and-person-power-displacing-homeless-residents-according-to-city-records/Content?oid=6913053.
The plight of the homeless in Oakland is becoming more evident as the economy has made it more difficult for those “fallen through the cracks”. Often stereotyped as annoying, categorized as worthless, the homeless easily become objects of neglect and abuse. If family, society and church remain uninterested and unconvinced as to the inherent dignity of these people, we continue to recognize them without judgment or condemnation.
The question that remains is how to address these issues.
What does it take to improve a life? Many lack money, housing, food and personal assistance. Very few programs exist in Oakland, and there are obstacles in accessing them. Since January of 1999, our outreach has been an ear to homeless people, treating them as individuals and gaining their trust. This makes them feel that there is someone in the world that cares about them and values them as individuals.
Nightly contact since January 1999
We visit homeless people on the street on a one to one basis. We know of no other shelter or homeless service in Oakland that attempts this type of outreach. The focus has always been providing basic necessities like food, blankets and warm clothing.
One of our inspirations was a local organization called Food Not Bombs, http://ebfnb.org/, which provides a hearty hot meal, like lentils, served daily in People’s Park area of Berkeley. We ask local Oakland businesses and their patrons for donations; sometimes bakeries donate bread, and people have contributed clothing and blankets, sometimes even small bowls of food. We pack-up the food, clothing and blankets and make them available that night.
last modified: November 30, 2022
Although these videos profile Los Angeles, we face the same issues in the Bay Area.