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Community Comes Together to Clean up the Riverbed

VICTORVILLE: ( On Saturday, May 31st, at 8:00 a.m., many individuals and families, including teens, put their plans aside, woke up early and went to volunteer in a community clean up day. The clean up day was planned by Friends of Tent City founder, Eric Rivera and sponsored by the San Bernardino County Sheriffs, Hope Team. Eric Rivera, organized the clean up, other groups and individuals shared the event making for a successful event. Groups, organizations and churches all came together as one for this very worthy mission. At 8am everyone, mostly men and teen boys met at the Riverbed off of Stoddard Wells with supplies in hand ready to work.

According to Rivera, there were about 50 people who showed up, all of them ready to work. Rivera said, “We filled to the max two roll offs and got a good start on the third, which is still being filled by the guys when we left.” For a long time, several group leaders have been trying to connect with those who are passionate about helping the homeless but the idea did not always catch on according to these group leaders. “This was a day I have been praying for, not just for the clean up, but rather working in harmony with the other groups and churches made today a special day of fellowship for me. I hope for everyone else as well.” said Eric.

The clean up went flawlessly, church members from Jesus is Lord Street Ministry in Victorville, Orchard Christian Church of Hesperia, and Volunteers from Victor Valley Brown Sack Lunches worked with Friends of Tent City all helping to make this such a great success. After the clean up, at about 11:30 a.m. volunteers, along with the homeless in the area who wanted to join enjoyed a lunch prepared by Victor Valley Brown Sack Lunches founder, Cynthia Quintana. Lunch consisting of a choice of four kinds of sandwiches, macaroni salad, watermelon, a bag of chips and water or Capri Sun drinks was served by the VVBSL team. All of the lunch served and those passed out on usually a weekly basis, come from the highly sought after and greatly appreciated group donations. “I was blessed to be able to purchase some things for the group this month, I stocked up on bread, as well as some other necessities. I cannot do this every month, so donations are such a blessing to the men and women who we serve” said Cynthia Quintana. After the clean up Cynthia and some of her team were able to go out on the streets and serve approximately 20 additional lunches, driving around to find more homeless individuals on the streets in need of a meal.

In his thank you to the group Eric also said, “To all the homeless we serve, today you came through and showed how with just a little help you’re more than willing to clean and take care of your own mess. You even helped with that left behind by others. I pray that we can soon begin to build Hope Haven and start working on all the messes in our lives.” Hope Haven is a $250,000 project in the planning stages, this plan includes not only a safe, clean place to stay, but also services and support to help these men and women get the treatment and/or resources needed to become fully self-sufficient to re-enter society. It is Eric’s dream for his friends, the people from “Tent City” and one he feels will be a reality in God’s time.

If you are interested in serving the homeless, please join Friends of Tent City, and Victor Valley Brown Sack Lunches. If you would like to donate any amount to the Hope Haven project there is a fund set up for that also. Any help would be appreciated and will get these people on the path to the help they need.

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