Nov. 3—A local man shows his support for the 12th consecutive year at the annual St. Joseph Walk for the Homeless.
The Walk Around Downtown, which begins at 4 p.m. Friday afternoon at 503 S. Sixth St., will highlight different resources available to those in need. Dave Summers, a local businessman, said he thinks people can help more than they realize.
His company, Summers Motors, is one of 13 sponsors of the event. The walk even begins in one of its buildings on Sixth Street.
“What’s unique is that we have 10 organizations that help inner city homeless people. We have a map and we walk the route and it tells us which organizations, what they are doing for the homeless. shelter,” Summers said. “A lot of people don’t know there’s a lot of help out there for the homeless. And by doing that, we’re cleaning up the streets as we walk.”
Proceeds raised go to the Northwest Health Services Downtown Health Center and help members of the homeless community replace identification forms, such as birth certificates, in an effort to help them find a job or a means of transport more easily.
Summers provides a truck for the event, which helps with the street cleaning effort. Participants are given plastic gloves and trash bags to pick up the trash they see and fill the back of the truck.
Some of the resources the march draws attention to include the Salvation Army, United Way, Family Guidance Center and the Open Door Food Kitchen. He said one of the most critical aspects of the walk was shedding light on the variety of ways businesses in St. Joseph can help those affected by homelessness and finding a way to work together to serve the global mission.
“Before that, my eyes weren’t aware of the help there was and the issues there were with the homeless,” Summers said. “A lot of people aren’t on the streets because of their own faults. It’s just the events in their lives and the things that happened.”
After more than a decade of being involved in efforts to serve those in need in her community, Summers reflected on how the Walk for the Homeless has improved and how far it has come.
“It’s amazing, (to have) started 11 years ago and seen how it grew from one event,” Summers said. “It is brought to the attention of others the help they need.”
The walk is also providing items for those in need, including clothing, blankets and socks, and will continue to accept donations of all kinds.
Thursday morning there were 73 participants registered for Friday’s event. Interested persons can do so by registering online on the event website at stjwalkforthehomeless.org or in person until the start of the march.
Stef Manchen can be reached at [email protected]
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