SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - In just a few weeks, several groups that independently have been working to help those in need have come together as a unit to respond to the Covid-19 housing and economic crisis.
Led by Adam's Angels, organized by realtor Adam McCaig, the idea to deliver food directly to those with urgent needs, has turned into a collaborative effort with many services at Alameda Park.
They meet at 5 p.m. on Thursdays. This is in addition to the work they are doing on a regular basis the rest of the week.
It's an united effort.
Adam McCaig says, "When I see someone that is clean, happy and well fed it is so rewarding. In fact one of our guests gained 10 pounds in the last month."
Mayor Cathy Murillo was assisting. She said those in need that she says these days, "they are stressed out to begin with. They don't want to catch the virus. So they come here they get some compassion, and a kind word."
While getting clothing, Nate Dean said, "it is nice to see people come together and do things like this, you know. It is a great thing. A great thing.I'm really happy."
Murillo was nearby and said McCaig has been a solid collaborator in this effort since it began only a few weeks ago. "When you get someone like that who is focused and you ask a friend to help, and you ask somebody else to help, people are jumping in and they respond to Adam."
The newly formed Youth Responders group had teen members volunteering and learning ways to contribute during the virus crisis. Jenny Ortiz said, "we're handing out clothes , we are handing out food." The young people were learning how these kinds of united efforts can be pulled together to help those who are living on lean times.
A local restaurant had hot meals on the spot. Bibi Ji on State Street brought a vegetarian rice and marsala dish to go. They were scooped up, included was a fork and those passing by got a dinner for later.
Anyone looking for canned good were able to pick up a bag full from Food Bank of Santa Barbara County donations that arrived in cardboard boxes.
Everything was laid out in separate locations to allow for adequate spacing.
Many people came away with several pieces of clothing including warm hoodies and jackets.
Wendy Domanski came out with food and supplies from the animal services group Care 4 Paws. She brought donated items for animals. Most of those living on the streets with pets, have dogs. "We like to provide a safety net, to provide assistance to homeless, to provide that no dog goes hungry, that all dogs are taken of ."
She helped one of the visitors with a harness for his dog. Domanski also had pet toys and blankets.
A guitarist who generally works for tips on the streets was asked to come in for some music. He was given a cash payment for his work.