Snow and cold couldn’t stop us today – we still marched in the Providence St. Patrick’s Day Parade and had a blast!!!
There were about 15 of us marching together today, representing Live it Up and the RI Dream Center. Most of us have been (or still are) homeless at one point in our lives, and I am so proud of how we are taking steps in the right direction to move forward with our lives. It felt great to march down the parade route and have the public acknowledge what we do and cheer for the progress we are making.
Every year, we give out hoodies to the homeless for Christmas…this past Christmas we made sure to hand out green ones specifically so we could represent in the parade….what do you think for this Christmas, orange??? Who’s with me!
This year, the parade was held in honor of Sister Ann Keefe, and I am so proud that we were able a part of it for her sake. I hope that we can make an impact on our city just like Sister Ann did. May she never be forgotten…(read more about Sister Ann here)
Along those lines, one of my friends at work made a huge impact with us during this parade. This friend goes to the parade every year. When she heard the Food Truck was going to be in it last year, she and her Dad put together over 50 St. Patrick’s Day cards with a $5 Dunkin Donut gift card in each one for us to hand out from the Food Truck to the street people we see along the route…it was pretty awesome…this year, though, she went all out…she worked with her co-workers to raise over $600 and put together more that 125 gift certificates for us to hand out. Because we had so many, we got to hand them out to more than just street people this year – we got to hand them out to the elderly as well. It was such an amazing time blessing the financially poor and the elderly with a smile, a hug, and a $5 Dunkin Donut giftcard for no other reason than “just because”. I wish the world had more of this kind of love in it…Friend, thanks for all your hard work, you did an amazing job – I know your Dad is proud!!!!!
Here is a sample of what one of the cards looked like, but check out the pictures on our Facebook Page to see many more of the smiles this day had to offer.
Thanks for checking in! I’m excited for what tomorrow holds!!!!
Hey!!! Hope all is well!!! Check out this email Ginny from the Early Seekers Team sent me this morning:
Paul came back to thank us so much for the clothes we gave him as he had nothing and was so grateful
Cheryl is clean of her addiction one month
Raphael could not thank us enough for the clothes we gave him last week
Michael Was so grateful for the bag of clothes Jan gave him and he kept coming back to say thank you so much as he had only the clothes on his back
Steve Needs prayer for a torn rotator Cuff, He will need surgery
Dorothy, ( David & Paulie’s from Live It Up band ) Mother Dorothy Is quite sick with a Chest Infection Please pray for her healing she is in her 80’s
Alice & Ervin small son’s need healing pray for the family as well
Barbara healing of her heart problem pray for the family as well
Lidia pray for healing of her heart problem & for the family as well
Robert Needs a Miracle deliverance
Matthew needs a miracle as well
Barbara needs many miracles in her family also for he daughter’s test to come back normal
Sandra still needs healing of her neck and complete healing from falling down the stairs
Dean healing of his knees
Joe healing of his needs
Ron healing of blood cancer
Ronnie complete healing
Ron Jr Healing of his knee injury
Maria miracle deliverance
K God knows
Norman Pray for people in war area’s and all the Veterans as well Pedro needs pants size 38
Brian needs pants size 36 and 2x Hoodie
Marco needs Med T Shirts
Steve needs x large shirts, xl Shorts
Anna needs tops size med , size 30 jeans
Isabella Needs a very small micro wave oven
Lisa needs a back pack with wheels and Hair products
Mike Needs Large Hoody & socks
Norman needs size 9 91/2 Sneakers and Jeans size 32- 34
Joe’s sister Tia had colon surgery and needs a miracle healing, she is having a hard time getting well
Joe Brian’s friend needs size X large Hoodie
Mark needs size X large men’s sweat shirts and Tees
Jackie needs a place to live
John Sister Michelle not to be homeless and her son Michael and Alyssa.
J& T their needs
Maria Her three boys and her husband is sick
G&S God knows
Margaret needs a healing miracle of Cancer & COPD
Anastasia His needs
Carlo’s needs pants size 32 or 34
Steve Needs size 32 or 34 Jeans underware & socks
Steve needs Xl Shorts
Donna size 81/2 sneaker
Erwin needs jeans size 32 And Large Shirts
A man needs size 36/30 jeans
John Needs a miracle healing of pancreatic Cancer
David asked for pray for people to stop cutting off heads
Noemy needs size 8 or 9 sneakers
Isabella needs size 9 sneakers
Mike needs size 34 underwear & jeans
Robert needs a back pack
Anthony needs 2x Tee shirts and size 36 Shorts Jeans
Jim His needs
Lidia her children
Tony every thing
Juan needs a blanket
4 other people asked for a blanket
Raymond Healing miracle
John needs size 11 boots he asks for prayer to pass his exams at CCRI And for his health
Marco needs a healing miracle
Adelaide needs boots size 8 or 9
Many men asked for Jeans
Russell needs miracle healing
C&C continued strength on their recovery road
All the homeless
Thank You , love and prayers from the Homeless and the Early Seekers
God Bless and have a great week
Friday nights are always fun nights on the Food Truck, but this one will have a bit of a somber tone…you see, this coming Friday night there will be a candlelight vigil in honor of two homeless men who recently passed away – Luis Belmont and Milton Lyles.
We usually crank up some old-school music, dance while we pass out food, and make sure we hand out more smiles than hot dogs on Friday nights, but we’ll have candles instead on Friday. After we finish our normal Food Truck run to the Overflow Shelter at the ACI and our Salvation Army hot-spot on Broad Street, we will mosey on down to the vigil to show our support – a stark reminder of how precious life is and how tough living on the streets can be.
The vigil will be held Friday night around 7pm (until shortly after sunset) at Cathedral Square in Providence, right out in front of Saints Peter and Paul Cathedral. It is being sponsored by a couple of groups that we bump into from time-to-time when we are out feeding the homeless, Breadlines Ministries, the Blackstone Valley Catholic Workers, and the “And You Found Me” Ministries…These groups have been out feeding the homeless for quite a long time now, and it is such a blessing whenever we run into them on the streets as we get to encourage each other while we spread the Love to the city. None of us is in this alone. The other group sponsoring the event is the Statewide Outreach Committee, who are constantly out there lending a helping hand.
I spoke to Wendy Thomas, of the Coalition about the vigil, and she hopes that it raises awareness for the need for affordable housing for the homeless and low-income. In an ideal world, she states, the housing would also be on a bus line so people would be able to find transport for jobs that would support themselves and their families.
A similar vigil was held in May for homeless Warwick man who passed away.
You can read more about Mr. Belmont and My Lyles in this Projo article. While I can not vouch for the character of these men, as I did not know them personally, I can say that I will stand with my fellow street-workers and homeless friends in solidarity as we remember that some members of our society will be going to sleep hungry, outside tonight…
If you can make it, please join us as we come together in strength and unity…if we can just reach one more person, and help get them out of a life of destruction, all the time and hard work is well worth it. Throughout the years, I’ve learned that you can never give up on anyone, because their breakthrough might literally be right around the corner!
Let me know if you are planning on going, and if you do go please visit this blog again and post your own thoughts through the comments section!!!
Hello all…hope all is well!!!!
I’m sounding the alarm!! Finances are running extremely low for the Food Truck, and today I focus on fund-raising…
If you don’t know what the Food Truck does, check this video out: Food Truck Video
Wanna see how the Food Truck started: What is the Food Truck?
Real simple – short and sweet – it costs about $1000/month to send the Food Truck every day – and we are looking for whatever help you might be able to offer. We feed 50-100 people every night and 300+ every Saturday morning….the people we serve can not afford us to shut down…
If you can, please donate – we need your help ASAP….please share this blog post with your friends and family so they can help support the cause as well…
The RI Dream Center is a federally and state recognized 501c3 non-profit organization located right here in RI.
Checks can be made payable and sent to the following address: RI Dream Center/330 Park Ave/Cranston, RI 02910
If you would like to donate electronically, PayPal is a great method: PayPal
A one-time donation will help us get through this month….but if you sign up for a recurring donation, it will get us through EVERY month!!!!
Thanks so much for all your support!!!! If you have any questions – let me know! Have a great day!!!
The Early Seekers Team sent us the following update today…they are still working hard and still going strong!!!!
- Lidia said the sinners prayer with a man and the angels in heaven are rejoicing with us as there is a new name written down in Glory. and His name is John Praise God!!!
- Liz Brenda Melucci’s mom is swallowing and eating normally!!!! Liz and the family thank you so very much for all your prayers.
- Tom a Man we have not seen for a few years and use to come to Pt faithfully with his wife. came to Jan and said O my God I can’t believe you all are still coming to KP , giving out food and clothing after all these years. I know a lot of organizations That help the homeless but they come and go and fade out. You have been doing this faithfully for years. You are so dedicated. this shows that your love is real and genuine. He & his wife are living in East Providence and have been attending a church near him. But also said he wants to come to PT again.
- William Is now getting his benefits and also found a job
- Robert needs a miracle healing from addiction that has tried to kill him, He also needs a miracle healing for his liver he is only in his 20’s Please, Please storm heaven for him and his family. His mom and sister are Born Again.Pray for His salvation as well.
- Sandra Steve’s sister please continue to pray for her complete healing
- Janice Mom Phyllis is still very sick
- Paulie & his family please continue to pray for all his loved ones that are battling Cancer and other illness as well and pray for his family as well as they are caring for them.
- Barbara & Bob They need many miracles in their family, they really need a break through.
- Barbara Please continue to pray for her healing and for her family as well
- Lidia Please pray for a miracle healing of her heart problem and for a very special unspoken
- Scott still needs a complete healing of his blood clots, His leg is doing better
- K needs a miracle healing & a few special unspoken as well
- J needs Prayer for a very special unspoken
- Car needs a miracle deliverance
- C needs a miracle deliverance
- Brian & D needs a miracle deliverance
- K&G God knows
- R& L God knows
- J&T God knows
- George God knows
- Mark God knows
- Sharon God knows
- Kenny My son will have Knee surgery April 2,
- Ronnie God knows
- Hilda Please continue to keep her in your prayers for complete healing of cancer
- Susie in the wheel chair has cancer through her body and was given 3 months to live
- Frank also has cancer he was given 3 years to live
- Cheryl God knows, And some man is constantly bothering her .
- Ken his needs
- Brian for his daughter Haily, grand son Mathew and Girl Desiree
- Tony God knows
- Andy his needs
- David his needs
- Sarge his needs Also grieving the loss of his son that died in a fire 15 years old and also loss his Dad
- Sharon has been battling pneumonia for a few months she is in a lot of pain from it also , she needs a place to live she sleeps outside
- Linda needs a miracle healing from depression & a few very special unspoken
- Maria a miracle healing for deliverance & for her family as well
- Ronnie will be out of jail soon please keep him and his wife and children in prayer.He is now Born again and doing well.
- Richard everything
- Bobby healing of his foot & God knows
- Jackie Thanks us all and thanks the Lord. Pray for her needs
- Erwin His needs
- Kavin needs pants size 38, He protects us, Pray for his needs also
- Jimmy needs jeans size 32 or 34 He needs a home sleeps out side, He wants to come to church with his girl, He wants to get out of his situation and was in tears we prayed for him also.
- Andrae needs jeans size 36
- Vahl needs a miracle healing from cancer
- Lenny needs jeans size 36 Pray for him & his family
- Gary wants prayer to stop smoking
- Tony asks for prayer for Philip C.
- Cheryl to be re united with her son
- Vinny For all of us who help the homeless
- Job Peace& good health Needs BP.
- Greg May have an apartment At Marvin Gardens
- Paul needs a X large Or Large Jacket
- Steve housing & Health
- Kirk his needs
- Nancy her needs
- April Her health & for her spirit
- Tom & Mary their needs
- Joe & Donna their needs
- Ken God knows
- Al God knows
- Carlos God knows
- A man said Pray for Spring !!!!!!!
- Ken Continued Growth in the Lord
Check out this email I received from the Early Seekers Team – it came with a throwback pic!
What an awesome morning we had at Kennedy Plaza!!! We passed out about 30 huge bags of clothing, several bags of toiletries, About 10 blankets, a radio and a coffee maker and about 300 sandwiches. Praise God! and a Heartfelt thank you to all of you, once again YOU MAKE THIS HAPPEN!!!!!! Over 300 people were blessed by you today, They were all so thankful and walked away with smiles on their faces because of your love and faithfulness to them. God bless You all.
Clothing Blankets Toiletries, Etc Donations:
A grateful thank you to:
- Joe Brito Sharon Cogean’s Co-Worker who donated 3 huge bags of designer clothing, Some Brand new Jeans, Men’s underwear & many T shirts and other slightly used clothing. What a huge blessing to the men these are the items that are so hard to come by. They always ask for Jeans & underwear, They were so excited to get them. You made their day. God bless you.
- Andrea from Help the homeless in Rhode Island for the 6 huge bags of clothing, and plastic lunch bags. They were so blessed by you. God Bless you.
- Sharon Cogean’s coworkers for the toiletries and clothing, Your continued support is such a blessing to them. God bless you all.
- Steve Marocco for all the Huge Boxes of Brand New Jackets and clothing. Your continued support is such a blessing to them. God bless you.
- Linda Cantone for the things you donated.God bless you.
Sandwiches & Lunches:
Thank you to:
- Marie Tatarian & Lynn Spirito’s Family & to their friends from facebook: Lorie Ricci, Karen Stahowick Ramsdem, Sheila Maguire and to all who donate Lunches each week. God bless you all.
- Liz, Brenda Melucci’s Mother, had her surgery and it went well and she is able to talk well and may be able to swallow soon.
- Mr. & Mrs. Santiago: Got their apartment a few weeks ago and they keep getting blessed and are so thankful. Coreen & Barbara From Help the Homeless in Rhode Island went to their apartment last week and blessed them with a brand New Pan Set, blankets Pillow’s & toiletries. Mr. Santiago was at KP this week and was telling us how thankful, Him and his wife are. They are also bring them a toaster, silverware and a coat. God bless them.
- Lewis is 3 years sober and has been working and doing well Praise God!
- Liz Brenda’s Mother please continue to keep her in prayer for complete Healing.
- Hilda Battling Cancer
- Nick in ICU, Severe Breathing problem Pray for the family as well
- Mark depression
- Linda depression
- Beth depression
- John Harris Healing
- Mary Poole Healing
- Barbara Healing
- Maria Healing
- Jon Carlos Healing
- Ashley Healing
- Robert Healing of his liver & continued strength on his recovery road
- Ronnie Healing
- Tina Healing
- Judy Healing
- C& Car deliverance
- Michael Healing
- David Eizengburg His needs
- Andy his needs
- Elizabeth her needs
- Lewis His needs
- Carlos God knows
- Tim his needs
- Melissa her needs
- Vinny God knows
- George God Knows
- Barbara & her boy friend their needs
- Barbara (Different Barbara) Self & family
- Sharon Her needs
- David his needs
- Lois her needs
- Brian deliverance
- Steve God knows
- Nick deliverance
- Donna & Joe their needs
- Joe continued strength on his recovery road
- Ron & His family their needs
- Jason M needs a Backpack Needs Size 36/ 34 pants
- Santiago needs sneakers size 9 or 9&1/2
- Sheri her needs
- Job needs a back pack
- Sara her needs
- Moises Good Health & peace
- Jay Golden
- Steve God Knows
Thanks Love and prayers from the Homeless & the Early Seekers!!!
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: email@example.com
- email the Dream Center blog: firstname.lastname@example.org