“I’ve been working with homelessness forever, but I’ve never actually created a bed for a homeless person,” said Dr. Kevin Caldwell, “but Mike Justice has. He just keeps pushing forward against all obstacles.”
The answer came in response to the question of why he and his family recently donated $25,000 to Our Daily Bread Ministries in Crescent City. The ministry has been serving the local homeless and indigent population since 2006, and after an anonymous donor paid off the ministry’s building mortgage in November 2108, plans were made to close its thrift store and expand the beds in its emergency shelter.
Caldwell said he had read the Feb. 26 story in the Triplicate about how the ministry had spent almost all of its grant money to meet the county requirements for the expansion, but was still short of its goal.
“I called them up that morning and said, ‘I got it,’” Caldwell said by phone Thursday.
He explained that his family has a collective fund, called the Caldwell Clan Fund, which provides donations to organizations making a difference in the community.
“Everyone agrees on what we give money to,” he said. “It’s not just me.”
ODB staff extended appreciation to the Caldwells for the donation and acknowledgment of their mission of meeting the needs of the most destitute members of the community.
“We do this by providing life-sustaining services of food, clothing, shelter and a life- recovery program that gives an opportunity for former clients to use their gifts to serve others,” and ODB release stated. “Since November 2018, ODBM made the decision to close the thrift store to use our building entirely for meeting basic human needs. ODBM is funded entirely by donations of concerned community members who desire to partner with combating the homeless epidemic through being a part of the solution. Not everyone can work with the homeless, but our donor support enables us to do our part.”
According to the release, the ministry will be meeting with county planners to expand its services, offer more beds to the homeless and making building improvements.
“We are grateful to our community for a growing partnership that will help us to do our part to manage our current homeless population,” it stated.
Asked what the money will be used for, Justice said it will mobilize the expansion of services. He said the building is about to be fitted with a required $1,400 fire door, kitchen fire sprinklers and extra bunks.
“It’s all really expensive, but at the same time, we’re moving forward,” Justice said. “I’m also really glad (the story) touched some hearts.”
Caldwell said he hopes the donation will move and inspire others to help with what he feels is a worthy cause, by donating to the ministry.
“ODBM and the community we serve are grateful for the recognition and assistance that enables us to save and transforms lives,” the release states.
Caldwell said he was also inspired by the adage that “committees don’t get stuff done, individuals do.”
The Caldwells have also assisted others, including Daphane Lynn Williams, founder of Lynn’s Hope House of new beginnings, a transitional home designed to help women parolees transition into a new and fulfilling life.
To help, call Our Daily Bread Ministries at 707-464-7771.