We’ve all heard the term “Pick yourself up by the bootstraps!”, but have you ever tried to actually pick yourself up by your own bootstraps? If you’ve tried it, you know that it is actually physically impossible to pull yourself up without someone’s help.
The greatest cause of homelessness is a profound, catastrophic loss of family or support–the extra set of hands needed to help pick someone else up.
“Mike” has been hoping for a hand up for most of his adult life. You see, Mike is an adult experiencing homelessness in Tulare, and has been since his early thirties. Mike is on the spectrum of Autism and became homeless after his mother – his primary caretaker – passed away, and his support system vanished. You may have seen him around – he pushes a shopping cart around town that is full to the brim, has a face that is sunburned from exposure, and shoes that have soles that flap when he walks. Mike doesn’t want to be a bother to people, and he walks a lot to remain out of harm’s way. He wears a smile most of the time, but that smile hides fear and despair. Mike needs a home, medical care and a hand up. He is the perfect candidate to live at The Neighborhood Village, and we hope to bring him home next year. In Tulare County, 532 adults who are experiencing homelessness have one or more disabilities. Close to half are chronically homeless, which means they have been homeless for at least one year. Of them, 89% have been without any sort of shelter for a very long time.
Your financial partnership with Salt + Light can be the hand that helps our neighbors experiencing homelessness to pick themselves up and move toward healing, hope and restoration.
With your help, this year will be a milestone one for Salt + Light. While our food truck remains a critical part of our daily work of meeting the nutritional and relational needs of our neighbors on the streets, we are going to be breaking new ground. During this next phase, Salt + Light will be building the state’s first master-planned community for people experiencing homelessness, The Neighborhood Village. This development will be a 52-unit community replete with permanent, dignified homes for rent, opportunities for purposeful work on-site, and healing through programs and services that are historically difficult for our friends to access while on the streets. To make this vision a lasting solution, we need your help more than ever. We can change the landscape of Tulare County forever, and it will only be possible with the help of the generosity of people like you.
People like our friend Mike are depending on your help to change the trajectory of their lives forever.
With deepest gratitude,
Founder + CEO