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The NEW Mobile Clothing Closet

February 2021 e-news

Have you seen this yet? (it’s 4x bigger in person)


It’s a miracle how this ended up in our hands – but do you know what’s also a miracle? The two young men who run it. One of them is named Tyler and the other is named Victor. Three days a week they drive the mobile clothing closet to different locations and make sure our homeless neighbors have the warm clothes, shoes, and toiletries they need. 

Back when Tyler was in middle school, his grandmother told him about Street Life, he thought to himself “This is a cool thing – let’s do it”, and he has never stopped doing it (even though he is all grown up now and a working professional). 

One cold and windy night, a bald gentleman came up to Tyler and said, “I desperately need a beanie.” Tyler looked in the closet, but they were all out of beanies. Disappointed, he turned to the gentleman, ready to tell him the bad news, then all of the sudden he remembered that he was wearing a beanie to keep himself warm. Tyler immediately took the beanie off his head and handed it to the gentleman, “Here you go”.
 

The other young man who runs the mobile clothing closet is Victor (on the right in this picture).

Before we had the beautiful mobile clothing closet you saw above, this is what they worked out of - a minivan. Victor would sit "crisscross, apple sauce" with bins of clothes all around him, he told us, "Thank God I’m not claustrophobic, because that was tight.”  Tyler would take the orders and Victor would dig through the bins to fulfill them. So, when they got upgraded to the mobile clothing closet, it was a game changer.

Working with his homeless neighbors has definitely left a mark on Victor.  "When I first started, it was a selfish focus - to help support my family. But over time that switched to a selfless focus.”  Victor started realizing how beautiful this opportunity is. “I get to talk to people and hear their stories and it really warms my heart.”

Also, Victor is fluent in Spanish – which is a huge blessing to our homeless neighbors who do not speak English.

Thank you, Tyler, and thank you Victor for blessing our neighbors on the Streets.

We love you!

Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will reward them for what they have done.
— Proverbs 19:17


Thank you for your interest in SLM,
Pastor David Shearin

P.S.:  A simple and powerful way you can support the ministry is by picking Street Life Ministries as your Amazon Smile. Amazon will donate 0.5% of your purchases to a charity of your choice. You just need to click this link – click “get started”, search for “Street Life Ministries”, and when our name pops up, click “select”. It costs you nothing and it really helps us out.

P.P.S.: Thank you for all your support recently – even though it’s been very cold – our homeless neighbors are warm because you donated your time, talent, and treasure ♥
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KEVZ KORNER

I wrote the following a little over 4 years ago after going to St. Anthony’s. Reading it made me cry when I found it:

1-2-2017
So I told my friend T I'd help her find a place she could minister to homeless folks in RWC. It was Christmas Eve, and I'd had a few glasses of wine. I didn't expect my offer to be taken up as soon as it was, so me n' Vick figured the best place to start would be at St. Anthony's Dining Room. When I was homeless, I would go there every day that I could. I figured maybe I'd see someone I knew and could ask about places to check. Seemed like a solid plan, so I went with it...

Got to T's about 10am. Described to her what it'd be like, what to watch for, etc. then got in the car. It was gonna rain like crazy, I just wasn't sure quite when. We got to the parking lot and found a spot where we could see the whole front, but it was sprinkling, so there really wasn't much to see. That's when I started getting weird. Started remembering things from a different life 5 - 6 years ago, when I was homeless and trying to survive...

I had a friend we called Grizzly Jim. He was a mean old S.O.B., but I took to him right away. It took months of just saying hi to him every time I saw him before he ever even replied. Once he did, though, we became pretty close friends. I have several really cool stories about him, but I'll write them down later. The point of even mentioning him is because I'd see him at St. Anthony's every day, and after eating, we'd sit up against the wall and share smokes, jokes, stories and info...

When I looked that day, he wasn't there. How could he have been? He'd been dead for like 2 years. I can't really explain it but seeing that empty spot under the window sure made me miss him, and it hurt like hell. Honestly, I knew right then that this was gonna screw up my head... 

I went and sat on the bench out front, just kinda staring at that spot under the window until the line started to move. I got T and Vicky into the line and kinda braced myself. It was all coming back so damned fast. We got to the doors, and I pointed out where Grizzly Jim would sit. No one would go near him because he was so gruff... It physically hurt me to see that empty chair. Vicky asked me where to get some spots for us, and I told her to go to the back. Me and T went thru the line and got some food. For me, that line was like jumping into a time machine. There was no avoiding all the old thoughts and feelings now. I was on autopilot, just remembering. Went over and got some bread and a bell pepper. I really don't even know why, other than that's what I used to do, so I did it. The Hall itself had not really changed since the last time I'd been there. My trip into the past was in full swing now. I was walking differently, squaring my shoulders more. Letting anyone that looked know that I was not just another guppy in the pond - I was a shark and should be left alone. That's how it was 5 - 6 years ago, and the instinct to revert to it was impossible to deny. I was walking to where T and Vicky were - at the 2nd to last table, not the last. This is worth mentioning because back then, we never let anyone be behind our backs. In that life, the mere thought was unacceptable. Also, from the last table, you see EVERYTHING. That was important to us, too....

Once I sat down, my mind kinda calmed down a bit. I kept watching the door, though. Some habits are too hard to break. I was telling T and Vicky how I used to know each person's name that came through those doors to get a tray. I knew everybody. Now that I've been gone, things have really changed in that department. Suddenly, a guy comes through that I've known for a big part of my life. Tattoo D is staring back at me...

My head just nuked. All I could do was point and grin. I got up, and he gives me the finger. I don't think my feet even touched the floor before I was hugging him...

So let me tell you a little about Tattoo D. First off, he earned his nickname. He has tattoos from his eyebrows to his ankles, and everywhere in between. He always joked about having a weiner that was below his knees. I put up $20 one day and said "Bullshit. Prove it." He just smiled and rolled up his pant leg. 3 inches below his right knee is a tattoo of a weiner. "Sonuva....Here's your damn money, bro"... D is a self-proclaimed "METHmatician". He's been doing drugs since before I was born. He doesn't try to hide it, and he's not ashamed to say it. There is no shame in D's game whatsoever. To me, he is one of the last of a dying breed that I call Outlaws. He's done time in Level 3 prison yards. LOTS of time. He is as well-known as I used to be, maybe even more so. He's got a quick wit, is always ready with a joke, and we had each other's backs for a really long time. He was another of the sharks I was talking about earlier, too. We made one hell of a team back in the day.

So, I quit smoking a few years ago, but in really high stress situations I've found that a cigar will calm me down pretty quick. D sat at the table with us - "I'm doing this for you, Kev. I don't usually let people see my back." (Remember what I said about that before?) Anyways, as he's talking, I find that I am in need of a cigar. All of this is just too much for me, and I'm having serious trouble coping with all that's happening in my head. So I start trying to open the wrapping of a cigar while we talk. My hands were shaking, and I was getting close to the red zone. I just kept picking at that damn cigar. When I finally opened it, I found I had picked a hole deep into the side of it. It was garbage. So I quick opened another right before D gets up to return his food tray. "Hey Kev, is that a blunt?" D asked me. "No, sorry man, just a cigar", I replied. "Why you sorry, man? I don't touch that shit - it's a gateway drug", D tells me as he walks off....

I saw another couple of dudes I used to hang with as well, who came in after D. They were all lit on meth, and you could tell pretty easily. Anyways, after eating, me n' D and the other guys go outside to smoke - just like we always used to. We're talking like it hasn't been years, but days. Suddenly one dude taps the other's shoulder. D says, "I'll be right back, Kev, gotta handle some stuff real quick." I nod, knowing exactly what's being handled.

Anyways, finally it was time to go. Tattoo D tells me, "Hey drop them off, and come back. I got something"... I tell him I can't do that shit anymore. It'll make my legs explode. He doesn't want to say goodbye any more than I do, but I'm not the same guy anymore. I think we both realized that right then. It hit me like lightning. My mind started misfiring, getting the old and new mixed up. Disjointed thoughts... I want to stay with you guys and feel like one of the Masters of the Universe again. Was I THAT messed up back then? What the hell are ya thinking, Kevin? This ain't your life no more. Tell me again why I should stay. Let me tell you why I can't... Too many thoughts to try and list here....

We got in my car and I started it up. As we're pulling out, D yells "Hey Kev, you got insurance on this thing?" I say yeah. He nods, then stands in front of the car and yells "Floor it !!".... I smile at him as I feel another piece of myself die screaming. I feel demolished inside, and I know it'll be a while before I'll be okay from all of this. I look in the rearview mirror. Things are still being "handled" over by my old friend's cars.... I'm just trying to keep my composure by then, wouldn't be cool to cry where any of them might see me.

As we get to the driveway, I heard Grizzly Jim tell me, "Once you get lucky enough to get out, don't you ever come back. Nothing good will happen if you try to come back, dude. Only a jackass thinks he can be two different people."

Damn it all, Jim. You were right.

Lord, watch over all my friends still on the streets. Life is hard out there, and they need Your help. Hold them close to You and let them bask in Your Awesomeness.

See you on the streets.

Join us for a warm meal

Palo Alto
Mondays
6:45-8:00PM

2890 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto, CA 94306

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Mondays & Wednesdays
6:45-8:00PM
1300 Middlefield Road, Redwood City, CA

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Menlo Park
Tuesdays & Thursdays
6:45-8:00PM
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(Menlo Park Train Station)

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Redwood City
Last Sundays of each Month
10am-1pm

1300 Middlefield Road, Redwood City, CA

(Breakfast and free Vet Clinic)
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Street Life Ministries exists to share God's love 
by providing life-giving resources and Christ-centered gatherings to people living on the streets of the Peninsula.

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Redwood City, CA  94061

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