Tag Archives: home van

News from Gainesville’s Home Van Food Pantry

by arupa freeman

The Home Van Food Pantry is doing a very large business as things continue to go badly, both in terms of the economy and the access to food in the downtown area.  The Salvation Army has stopped serving dinner except on Fridays and is planning to drop meal services all together at the end of the year.  There are also people coming down from Dignity Village to receive food, since the kitchen at Grace is not yet operational.  Although we are a food pantry for homeless people, some elderly people who have (thank God) a roof over their heads but not much else, are also coming to receive food. We do not discriminate.   Some people would like to be going to Grace for meals but they’ve lost their bus pass (as you may recall, the city gave out permanent bus passes to homeless people earlier this year).  They have been told that bus passes can’t be replaced.  It is  hard to keep track of one’s belongings living of the streets (it’s hard enough living inside, as I’ve discovered), and one’s belongings are much more likely to be stolen if you’re homeless.  There is also the photo ID problem.  If you lose your photo ID you cannot get service at a food pantry or many other places.  That is bureaucratic cruelty.   Under the Patriot Act photo IDs are very hard to get and even harder to replace.  Is our society really going to let people starve because they don’t have the right pieces of paper?  Sounds to me like something out of Germany in the early 30s.  My Jewish friends often say that we must never forget history, particularly that history, because, among other things, it teaches the lesson that good people can be lulled, one step at a time, into unspeakable evil.

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Francis ‘Pat’ Fitzpatrick made social work ‘absurd and hilarious’

patby Katie Walters

Surrounded by close friends and family, Pat Fitzpatrick passed away on August 3, 2015, at the Malcolm Randall VA Medical Center after a long bout with liver disease. He was 65 years old. He will be celebrated by his two children, Dan and Katie, his two sisters Katherine and Nora, and many close friends.

Pat was a lifetime agitator and advocate for the poor and underrepresented. As his bandmate and friend Jon Decarmine expressed, “He was an incredible guy with a huge heart and a knack for making social justice work absurd and hilarious.”

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Home Van Pet Care: Project News from Grace Marketplace

by Elizabeth Howard, Project Coordinator

Grace Marketplace, our new homeless shelter, is now home to 11 dogs and three cats. We go there once a week and distribute pet food for these dogs and cats.

We are finding a lot of old friends at Grace, people who relocated from Tent City with their pets, but there are a lot of people who don’t know us or our Project, so it is a time of building trust and creating processes to distribute pet food and learn else is needed for the pets.

With only a few inside beds available inside the fenced facility, virtually everyone is a camper outside Grace. Pets are not allowed inside the fence at all and campers share their tents and campsites with their pets.

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