Everyone knows that one of the flagship services of the Rhode Island Dream Center is the Food Truck. We are about to wrap up our fifth year feeding the homeless through this program, so we thought this would be a good opportunity for a little history lesson
It actually started as the Live it Up Food Truck with a lot of help from Pastor Levi Pangburn, Chuck Johnson, Mike Harris and the support of Praise Tabernacle Church. Check out what our first truck looked like:
Ever wonder what prompted us to send that old truck out?
Back on January 2, 2009, Paul Langlos, a 41-year-old homeless man, died in his sleep in the bitter cold under the Crawford Street Bridge Downtown Providence. A rotten event, to say the least – and, unfortunately, this is not an isolated event.
At the same time, the city’s homeless were banding together politically to get their stories out there and their voices heard. The homeless came together to commemorate the spot and Hope City (commonly known as Tent City) was organized under said bridge as a thriving community and a place for them to call home, literally. They set up tents and said, ‘we’re gonna watch out for each other and make sure no one dies out here again’…Hope City was born and it doubled as a memorial of sorts for this young man and all the others that have succumbed to the elements and the streets.
Take a look at this video I recently found that explains the camp much better than I ever could (snarkyness aside): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tmi7KtMauJw
Members of Praise Tabernacle Church sprung into action to help John Joyce (we miss you John!!!) and his crew, and the Live It Up Food Truck was born.
There were already a handful of soup kitchens in the city, so we searched for a way that we could make a difference. Instead of setting up a soup kitchen so the homeless could come to us, we decided to develop a mobile soup kitchen to go visit them! Someone went looking for a box truck, another decided on a route, another rounded up volunteers to cook food collect donations…and…
Viola…within a few months, everything had come together and we were bringing out hot soup, a fresh piece of bread, and a hot cup of coffee to Hope City and other area homeless communities. As more tent cities sprung up, we found more places to drive to and more people to feed. I remember feeding a community on Cranston Street with about 8 tents, a few more people at Roger Williams Memorial Park on North Main Street, a group with about 20 tents across the pond from Hope City and eventually a large community under the George Washington Bridge in East Providence known as Camp Runamuck.
That was way back in 2009 – this is 2014, and the Food Truck is still going strong…check this out – someone actually donated a brand new truck to us when our old box truck decided it didn’t have any more life in it (I’ll always remember breaking down on the highway in that old truck and the way the exhaust fumes used to rise through the floorboards and choke us out when we were stopped at a red light):
This new truck means we never have to worry about breaking down anymore. We have even added two more days to the original route – on Sunday afternoons we go to the usual spots and on Saturday mornings we visit downtown Providence with the Early Seekers…
Depending on the day of the month, we pass out between 60 and 120 free meals on the Food Truck.
Every once in a while, one of our guests will take me aside and thank me, letting me know that it is the only food he has eaten for the day…when someone tell me this I always try to sneak them seconds!!! I’m reminded of an older gentleman who comes out to greet me at the Overflow in Cranston, saying “I’ve been thinking about and looking forward to this cup of hot cocoa ALL DAY LONG!!!” What a feeling it is to be able to make someone’s day with such a simple gesture. Over the years. I’ve fed people on their first day out of the ACI, people struggling with long-term homelessness and people temporarily out there on the streets for any number of reasons. I have gotten to meet some really great people, both clients and volunteers (I met my wonderful wife through the Food Truck). Some of the people I used to feed have even made it out of homelessness and now help us out. I think of people like Andy, Maria and William – I used to feed them but now they serve along with me as a way to give back. I’m so proud of these guys. There are others, like George, who are all-star volunteers on the Food Truck and volunteer week after week after week.
As the years went by and Praise Tabernacle birthed the RI Dream Center, the countless volunteers that donated time, energy and money throughout the years raised the Food Truck to maturity – I am so thankful for all your support, and we would not have been able to do any of what we do without you!!!!
Thanks to all who have played a part in making the Food Truck a success. We truly appreciate the love you have poured out on our community.
In closing, the Food Truck costs at least $1000/month to operate, so if you’d like to make a donation to help us out, please visit our website at www.ridreamcenter.com and give whatever you can – one-time donations are great, and recurring donations help us budget.
So, thanks for checking in today – we want to make sure no one else passes away under our watch…not under bridges, not in doorways, not ANYWHERE!!!!
Be sure to check in soon for future posts to the Dream Center Diary!
We’d love to hear from you:
- online: http://www.ridreamcenter.com/
- phone: 401-396-2743
- email the Dream Center: firstname.lastname@example.org
- email the Dream Center blog: email@example.com
So the Early Seekers Team had a great day this morning. Even though it was cold, some wonderful friends warmed their hearts…for more details, please see their updates below: (I love the Early Seekers!!!!!)
- William Butress & wife
- Coreen St. Jean
- Barbara O’Connor Smith
- Andrea Smith
- Jane Pace, Sharon Cogean’s Co-worker
- Alicia Wells Smith, Sharon Cogean’s Co-worker
- Sharon Cogean for making 2 trips to my house to bring many bags of clothing and toiletries and All her other co-workers
- Mac, who donated a case of Bibles
- Lidia’s friends
- Bob Smith
- Brian Several weeks in a row he said if you come across a leather jacket, I could really use one,Well this week , He really got blessed. Sharon gave me one from her co- worker and Guess what? It fit him like it was tailor-made for him. He kept saying this is awesome I hope you did not buy it for me this is brand new and it had to cost a lot of money. He was over joyed. He kept coming back to thank us. he just couldn’t believe it. Brian Always looks out for our safety at KP. and He helps us carry stuff and pack stuff up . This Jacket was a heavy winter Wilson leather with a zip out lining and he looked Great in it. When he asked us where it came from we told him God gave it to him. God heard his pray
- A young Man Said to Jan “I just have one question for you. “Jan said “what?” He said “Why do you do all this? “Jan said” because of Love.” He said “but where does that Love come from?” Jan pointed to Heaven and he yelled out” Praise God! God bless you all.”
- Santiago & his wife Got their apartment an answer to your prayers.They are so happy. They need pots and pans
- 2 other people got their apartment also an answer to your prayers. Can’t read the names I wrote, Some times pens won’t write as well due to cold weather.
- A Spanish man asked me for a Spanish Bible and we gave him a Gideon Pocket New testament, He was so excited.
- Then a Spanish lady said oh can I have one too , Well I had one left and she was so happy.
- 3 other Spanish ladies said do you have any more Spanish Bibles. We would love one, I said We will bring you some more next week.
- Mac we passed out several of the full Bibles he donated and they were so thank full .
- One Young man said is that a Bible? How much is it?, Jan said ” It’s Free and gave him one and he was thrilled .”
- Steve Said can I have one of those large Bibles, I love to read the Bible
- Another man saw this and said” I love to read the Bible too can I have one?”,and He was Happy as well to get one.
- 2 men really needed the sneakers that William Butress donated they were so happy
- Dornel His needs
- Brian needs Timberland boots size 10 , He needs Jeans size 36- 34 length that go over boots
- Richard Guertin his needs
- John His son Michael, grandchildren and pray for John as well
- Raymond his needs
- Gene Self & his health & God knows
- Phillip World peace
- 3 Girls their needs
- Kearen B Her family & self
- Jimmy needs size 91/2 sneakers
- Felix Health
- Ines her needs
- Maria self & kids
- Esta Her needs
- Maria homeless, Family, Husband
- Carlos God knows
- George Homeless
- Mario His needs
- Robert apartment,health, wife And children
- Christine His so Who’s name is Promise just had open heart surgery and they have to go back in to operate again
- Juan apartment,
- Jonathon needs Jeans size 38
- Freddie Health
- Edwin his needs
- David a place to live
- Steve world peace
- Russell world peace
- Asmerom homes for everyone
- Lisa her needs
- John Paul get his life together
- Paul Mom passed away, Dad’s health also self & daughter
- Jim Sharon
- Grim God knows
- Megan has a lawsuit out for wrongful arrest
- Alpro God knows
- David A Home
- Anastasia His needs
- Francis Health Robert continued strength to make it trough his recovery program & healing of his liver
- Barbara needs many miracles in her family
- Barbara Different Barbara For her health and pain & for her family
- Brian a miracle deliverance
- Maria miracle deliverance
- C Deliverance
- Lisa & her loved ones
- Linda Healing depression and God knows
- K God knows
- Please continue to pray for all those with cancer and going through treatment for cancer on past lists
- Hilda will have 6 weeks Chemo & radiation & No Pain meds. And that she can swallow
- Anthony Geremia Brain tumor
- Jeanne Lung Cancer
- Artie’s brother Michael tumor
- All in the hospital
- Anthony ICU Rapid heart & Low Bp.
- Valeria Recovering from Knee replacement without pain meds
- David Vito Knee replacement & recovery
- Liz that she can swallow complete healing
- Felecia’s Mom Lorraine had a stroke
- All the homeless
- Strong holds of addiction to be broken
Hope you had a great weekend…if you have time, please take a look at the update below from our Early Seekers Team.
Last week, I shared the blog on the Facebook page of the Help the Homeless in Rhode Island Group (https://www.facebook.com/groups/homelessri/), and they were actually able to donate some of the specific requests that the homeless had voiced a need for when they asked us to pray for them on Saturday morning. It’s so wonderful to be the answer to someone’s prayer, and I am glad we were able to work together to meet the needs of those less fortunate in our state. Coreen St. Jean, Andrea Smith and the other warm-hearted individuals in the Help the Homeless in RI Facebook group, thanks for taking the time out of your day to make someone else’s day special. It’s pretty fun, isn’t it!!!
Without further adieu, the Early Seekers update:
- Valerie, Sharon Cogean’s sister : A very grateful thank you to Valerie for 2 very nice blankets, and some new and lovely clothing and 2 pairs of very nice boots. all went fast and the individuals that received them were so very thankful. You really bless the homeless, God bless you.
- Sharon Cogean’s Co-workers : A very grateful Thank to Sharon’s co-workers for all the much needed toiletries, they all went so fast also and you really blessed the homeless, they were so thankful. God bless you all.
- Sharon Cogean: a very grateful thank you for all the brand new socks and the many nail polishes you blessed the homeless with, they also went fast and they were all so thankful. God bless you. also, a special thanks to you, Sharon, for dropping all the above things off to me. You are such a blessing to them.
- George: A very grateful thanks to all the people who dropped off clothing to George to give to the homeless, all went fast and you really blessed the homeless and they were so very thankful. God bless you all. Thanks George for loading them on and off the food truck and for all your hard work…it does not go unnoticed or unappreciated. God bless you.
- Lidia: a very grateful thank you to all who gave clothing toiletries & Bibles to Lidia to pass out , The homeless were so very thankful, you really blessed the homeless. God bless you.
- Tom, Jan’s Husband: a grateful thanks to Tom for all the awesome shirts you blessed the homeless with, all went fast, They were so thankful, God bless you.
- Rob, Tom’s cousin: a very grateful thanks to Rob for all the shirts and clothing you blessed the homeless with, they were so thankful. God bless you.
Thank you to all who provide lunches drinks Prayers Etc. God bless you all.
Some of the homeless and volunteers ask us for prayer when we see them…please take a moment to review and pray for our homeless:
- Valerie Sharon’s Sister will have Knee replacement surgery this Monday and she will not be able to have any kind of pain medication During her recovery from surgery, Please keep her in your prayers for a pain free and a healing miracle
- Tracy asks for prayer for Anthony Germia who has Brain cancer, Please pray for his wife Beverly and sons and family as well
- Hilda will start radiation and Chemo for a cancer spot on her lung. She will not be able to have any pain medication for it. She was also told she may not be able to swallow, Please pray for a Pain free and healing miracle. She will have 7 weeks of radiation & Chemo Feb 10Th to March 28Th
- Artie’s Friend son, Mother and family For God to give them strength & Healing miracles In his addiction and the serious issues it has caused. God’s divine intervention in all areas
- Robert Was in a program and was being harassed the whole time by another person in that program, well praise God because of your prayers He made it through that program so well, He was chosen to go to a Continued Program that only a select few get to go and will receive very intense treatment without any addiction withdrawal medications and he does have anxiety. Please pray for strength and Peace in the anxiety area and that he will continue in this program as well. Also Pray for his healing miracle as he is also very Jaundice. This is an answer to your prayers that he has advanced this far, That he not only passed the other program but he has this new one as well this is a miracle, his mother is saying. because his addiction was killing him and his family has suffered such heart ache and hardship. Lord continue this total healing miracle In Jesus name.
- Barbara Needs many miracle in her family and God is moving in this area as well, an answer to your prayers also. please continue to keep her and her family in prayer as well.
- Liz Brenda’s mother Please continue to keep her in prayer for her healing miracle and that she can swallow.
- Lidia please continue to keep her in prayer for her heart problem, May the Lord give her a healing miracle.
- Scott please continue to keep him in prayer for healing of his blood clots.
- Celeste Harris friend Donna is a Kidney transplant recipient Please keep her in pray for a healing miracle as well and pray for her family as well
- Maria needs a miracle deliverance
- Linda needs continue healing for her depression & God knows
- Ronnie Healing miracle
- Robert healing miracle for his foot & finances
- Felicia Healing miracle for her legs and her surgery goes well for her throat.
- Raymond Healing miracle cancer
- Gracie healing miracle cancer
- Ronnie & wife & babies Salvation and their needs, Strength & healing in Jail
- Barbara needs healing miracle for arthritis & pain & for her, Pray for her family as well
- Anna Please keep her in prayer for strength & peace. She was getting married and they broke up, and though she knows it is for the best, It hurts.
- Brian Please keep him in prayer for a miracle healing of his addiction, He was doing well before he fell again and his addiction has really taken a toll on him.
- C please continue to keep him in prayer for strength & deliverance
- George Needs a home, sleeps on the streets
- Andy his needs
- Ron & Cindy on the trail as they witness that souls will be saved and for God’s Provision and protection.
- George God knows
- Joe A. God knows
- Randy his needs
- Joseph His Dad Pray for Joseph as well
- Donna has a praise report Her daughter Has a job and is doing well in school
- Sharon asks for prayer for Jimmy pray for her as well
- Maria For her & her children’s needs
- Cheryl Needs a home, wants a relationship with her son & for peace and safety
- Lisa her needs
- Margret Healing of her heart & for her husband
- Carlos God knows
- Robert God knows
- Anthony finances and all his needs
- Kenneth for him and his family
- David complete healing from his surgery
- Lee God knows
- Rachel healing from depression
- Ines for her daughter & grandchild
- Nickie God knows. She said she sang a song in a church recently I said Oh I would love to hear you sing. She sang a sad song about man who is supposed to love some one and he is not being a father to his child. She could make it On American Idol or America’s got talent. What a beautiful voice!!!!!. She said she would like come to our church.
- Steve God knows
- Jan God knows
- David his needs
- Anastasia his needs
- Koryn God knows
- Sharon her needs
- Donna God knows
- S&G God knows
- All who bless this ministry
- All the homeless
- All ministries
- The strongholds of addictions to be broken
- All in pain and all who are sick
Thanks so much for taking time to read this update.
Thanks so much for taking the time to pray along with the homeless.
Thanks so much for all of your donations to the homeless.
You are appreciated!