Churches band together to help homeless - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Churches band together to help homeless

LONGVIEW,TX (KLTV)- A group of east Texas churches have banded together to do what they can to help those who have little or nothing. A very anonymous group has come together in an effort they simply call 'help for the homeless'. Every other Saturday the parking lot near the Longview Elks lodge is filled with volunteers and people who need help with day to day survival.

"God put a vision in our hearts for the brokenness the oppressed people here on the streets and that's how I came up with this," says Gary Don Holley, who started the effort.

"We feed them every other week there's some clothing ministries and food ministries and there's a lot of love out here on the street and that's what this is all about," says volunteer Alan Johnson.

They use their own money and supplies, with no religious differences.

"We've got Pentecostals serving next to Baptists next to non-denominational's next to Methodists," Holley says.

15 different churches have joined the effort to help with food, clothing and even medical care, and something more important, to give people a chance to reclaim their lives.

"I get something to eat for one thing and every time I come here I feel the spirit of the lord, every time I come it lifts my spirits," says Dave 'Popeye' Clark, who is homeless.

They even use buses to pick up the homeless and bring them to the event. And they try to spiritually strengthen them.

"They are a forgotten population of Longview that needed Jesus above all else," Johnson adds.

For some its enough to know just that someone cares about them.

"Its like a big family and they make you feel like they care about you, they do care about you," says Belinda Smith.

The bible says, the poor you will have with you always, and this group will not forget them.

"Peoples lives are being changed right now," adds Johnson.

More than 200 people attended today, and the event has fed as many as 500 people on one Saturday.

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