Eric V. Campbell San Diego Homeless Advocate says “Homelessness is a big problem that we all are aware of, yet few of us do anything to try and help.”
Eric V. Campbell, a Trust Officer with True Trust in San Diego, California, and a co-director of the San Diego 100% volunteer-run nonprofit organization Streets of Hope, believes the key to helping the homeless is not to try to fix or change them – it’s to be their friend.
In an interview with Chet Bruce on Business Innovators Radio, Mr. Campbell talks about his nonprofit, which, since 2012, meets Monday nights in downtown San Diego, on 15th and F Streets, to pass out care packages and connect with homeless folks. The packages, the contents of which are purchased and assembled by Streets of Hope volunteers, contain sandwiches, fruit, toiletries, and water. Volunteers also give blankets, clothes, and of course, their time and conversation – or in other words, acknowledgement of their shared humanity. Such acknowledgement, says Mr. Campbell, is critical to helping any person in any way, and the homeless in particular rarely get it.
Streets of Hope does not only help the homeless of San Diego. Mr. Campbell notes that many volunteers tell him that, after their work, they “feel different as a person.” One such volunteer started at Streets of Hope with serious depression. She started a monthly program where Streets of Hope volunteers cut the hair of homeless people who want it. That can be up to fifty people or more in any given day. Now she is healthier mentally, and has helped others immeasurably in the process of healing herself.
As a nonprofit, every single dollar earned by Streets of Hope goes to helping the homeless of downtown San Diego. The non-profit has seen its homeless friends, after being treated as humans by its volunteers, “get off the streets, get jobs, go to school, and more.” (StreetsOfHopeSanDiego.org)
An interesting fact: One service Mr. Campbell provides as a Trust Officer with True Trust is nonprofit start-up advice.
The Streets of Hope website is for readers who wish to learn more about the organization. Mr. Campbell offers his personal phone number: 619-564-1127, and his email: firstname.lastname@example.org.