By Rob Skead
People often walk by them as if unseen. They have names. They are someone’s son or daughter. They live nestled in creative spaces throughout the city of Paterson—and they need help.
They are the homeless in Paterson and the volunteers behind City Impact see them and reach out to help them once a month with food, clothing, toiletries and most importantly prayer and the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
“City Impact is a ministry initiative birthed in October 2020 due to the high rate of homelessness in the city of Paterson and we simply wanted to help,” says Charles Salinas, pastor of King of Kings Worship Ministries and Head Master of Dawn Treader Christian School in Paterson, two of the ministries that started City Impact. Additionally, a group of volunteers from KingsGate Church in Woodland Park NJ, Oak Church in Paterson, and other local churches join together for the outreach.
The initiative also includes giving the homeless backpacks, provided by Backpacks for Life, an organization dedicated to helping homeless veterans. The backpacks are filled with items they need and bring huge smiles. (story continues after photo)
“We prepare the food, then break into teams and go out into the city to find the homeless,” says Pastor Salinas. “We know where they are and where they have built their shelters. The hot meal delivered to them is just a tool to ultimately connect them to the help they need – through partner ministries in Paterson – so they can get off the streets and back into society. The homeless are always so grateful to God and often say ‘God bless you’ before we do and appreciate people taking the time to care for them.”
If you’d like to volunteer and be the hands and feet of Jesus as part of City Impact, contact Brayda Calderon, Volunteer Coordinator, via Cell: 973-885-7697 (text) or email firstname.lastname@example.org.