Philadelphia's homeless giving to Haiti
CENTER CITY - January 21, 2010 (WPVI) -- Here in Philadelphia thousands of people have given money or goods to help the victims of Haiti.
In North Philadelphia tonight, a group of men was going through box after box of items that they have collected from their own personal possessions and from area businesses and residents.
On the surface, it may sound like just another tale of the generosity of so many Americans. Until you consider that these men have little or nothing themselves. You see, they are some of Philadelphia's homeless who call the Ridge Avenue shelter in North Philadelphia, home.
"Because we're homeless don't mean that we're bad people. I know that we have a bad stereotype name on us, but we're not that way," homeless man Gerald Ford said.
They, like so many of us, saw those heart wrenching images of destruction and tragedy and despair coming from Haiti and realized that their own plight of homelessness was bad, but this was far worse.
"These people don't even have water, they don't have food, they don't have roofs or shelter over their heads," homeless man Richard Shimoyama.
With the support of shelter officials who printed out flyers for them to place door the door, area merchants and residents responded.
"At first, they were a little bit surprised, but they weren't too skeptical about helping out," homeless man Elvis Lugo said.
Robinson Cazy who is a homeless Haitian American, was stunned by the group's efforts.
"I didn't expect this to happen. I said, 'God, you are the holiest one and I will always feel more faithfully to be with you," Cazy said.
The group's counselor Catherine Canady who tells these men often that 'they may be down but not out', was moved.
"I've seen them do a lot of things, but this is one of the most overwhelming things that I've seen them do," Canaday said.
The men need help in getting these supplies to the people who need it most in Haiti. If you can help, you're being asked to call the Ridge Avenue shelter at 267-265-5289.
philadelphia, pennsylvania, local/state, dann cuellar
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