Working with the Homeless by Evelyn Lihinag-Tam

The name of the program is called a Brown Paper Bag Homeless Food Program. This program was started in January 2013 under the leadership and guidance of pastor Theresa Nelson. The founder of this Brown Paper Bag Program are the Daniel’s sisters, Ann, Rose, Evelyn, Norma, Dorothy, Marie, Geneva, and Ann Rabun.

Our team meets every other Wednesday at the African Methodist Episcopal (church), to prepare lunches for the homeless, our daily schedule starts at 8 AM in the morning with shopping and making the lunches. This program goes on from 6 PM to 8 PM. My sister and the Daniels use most of their own money, and with the help of Norman to support this program. We take the lunches to the various parks in Oakland and distribute food among the homeless and the needy. The people's life styles are living in tents. There are many tents set up on the streets, under the freeways, and sidewalks. The need to help the homeless population in Oakland is very great. Some of the homeless people are living in the tents with their pets, such as cats and dogs, and we often have to bring the pet's food as well.

This Brown Bag Program started out feeding 160 people per month. Now, the program feeds nearly 400 people per month. Each brown paper bag the church hands out contains the address to the church and the name of the pastor. This program also provides jackets, socks, and toiletries for the homeless. My sister and the Daniels use their own funds to provide these necessities.

Although this Brown Bag Program is a lot of work, we all enjoy the work of helping other people in need. The homeless expressed their gratitude towards us. I feel for me this is the best program I can be involved in, and at the end of a long day I can feel the love of God.