Bed & Bread Encore: Outreach Making an Impact

Dec 5, 2020

Tonight marked the second iteration of Bed & Bread Encore, supported by Ford Motor Company. This is new initiative operates in addition to the Bed & Bread Club, a program which provides more than 3,600 meals each day of the year to those in need. Bed & Bread Encore is a supplementary outreach serving the homeless of Detroit one evening per month and providing as many services as possible to some of the most vulnerable people in the city. After supplies were gathered and a group prayer shared, a convoy of vehicles led by Jamie Winkler, Executive Director of the Detroit Harbor Light Center, headed to the streets with coats, blankets, and gloves for those needing protection from the cold, and a menu of meatballs, rice, apples, hot chocolate, and candy canes for the hungry.

"Tonight is about expressing God's love, compassion, and mercy," says Winkler. "We are here to serve our brothers and sisters who live in our city."

Bed & Bread Encore's wide range of services comes from its partners who join their monthly excursions: Molina Healthcare provided 100 new coats, Covenant House provided housing screenings, Covenant Community Care provided free flu shots, and Central City Integrated Health provided primary care, dental care, mental health services, and more. What makes the initiative uniquely effective is that it travels to its clientele - it goes where people gather. 

"It means a whole lot that The Salvation Army is here serving us," says a woman at the first stop near Jefferson and Marina. She points at the truck. "It seems like they're the only ones looking out for us."

With about 13,000 homeless and only 3,000 shelter beds in Detroit, individuals and families looking for a safe, warm place to sleep are in a constant struggle to secure their basic needs while also trying to improve their lives. COVID-19 is an additional hurdle that this population faces as it tries to find housing and employment. 

"I've encountered so much prejudice as a homeless person trying to find a job. I have a college degree," said another who received services who wished to remain anonymous. "The Salvation Army treats us well - but there are so many obstacles to overcome daily. There needs to be more awareness."

Bed & Bread Encore will continue monthly in its pursuit of those in dire need in the city of Detroit. The initiative turns the love and compassion of our supporters into practical, life-giving efforts, one person at a time, whether it is through a hot meal, a shelter placement, or a blanket. 

"Getting someone off the street is a process, not a moment in time," says Winkler. "As we continue to go out and serve, we build more trust with those who can use our services. We are here for the long-term to make an impact."

Please join us in making an impact in Detroit by donating now.

Thank you to our community partners who help make Bed & Bread Encore possible!

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