Mark Puican, President and Founder, discussed the 1 in 7B Foundation, a faith based initiative he created to help the area’s homeless. The name alludes to the difference that just one person – in a world of 7 billion – can make. Mark was inspired by a headline he saw concerning a shelter facing closing. Trying to save it, he learned about the causes and issues of home insecurity, resources, and fundraising. Today he and volunteer ‘Hope Sqads’ visit homeless encampments, shelters, emergency housing sites, and homeless on the streets with food, clothing, toiletries and navigation help with available services – offering not just immediate practical relief but also building the relationships that can lead to more permanent solutions. Still a grassroots movement, he describes their plans to increase their services through a mobile unit with showers, laundry facilities, and more counseling. Mark discussed the the needs of his clients, many are facing mental illness and addiction issues and getting them immediate help is vital or the opportunity is lost, they lack basic hygiene ammenities, and many are unable to access the programs and services that are available. He notes that no-one is turned away, they have no requirements of following or enrolling in addiction or other programming or religious services.
Today 1in7B relies on a few local sponsorships and individual donations to supply the Hope Squads with the food, clothing and toiletries; more volunteers – especially those with counseling backgrounds, as well as in-kind donations and corporate sponsorships are needed to continue expanding their work.
Learn more at 1in7bfoundation.org