Homeless Outreach Team wins award
The Homeless Outreach Team (HOT) of Hemet has no website. It has no set meeting place. It has an extremely tight budget as charitable dollars are hard to find in the city of Hemet. HOT as also just won an award from Congressman Raul Ruiz, MD with was presented at the American Legion Post 53 of California’s 36 Congressional District this past Saturday July 27, due to HOT’s tireless work and “outreach to the homeless within the community and ensuring that everyone has a place and no one left behind.”
The team’s mission is not about bonding with material things like food or blankets but instead, “to provide emotional support and friendship. Our goal is to get the homeless to trust us enough to someday take the step to get the help they so desperately need,” said HOT creator Karlee Meyer adding, “HOT is not an exclusive group in which one has to have a membership…it’s more like a loosely-knit group of people in our community who are willing to help and serve alongside those in need so we can provide permanent housing and friendship that can develop in the trust. We’re hoping that the homeless will take a hand up out of life on the streets and possibly someday, to be in a position to pay it forward and help someone else in need…to contribute to our society.”
HOT has directives for “Business Outreach Volunteers,” “Community Education Volunteers” who work with Meyer’s “Know where it goes Foundation (knowwhereitgoes.com), “Facebook/Online Volunteers,” and possibly the most important group, “Street Outreach Teams,” The people who make direct contact with homeless individuals to encourage them to reach out for help, to break the cycle of homelessness. Outreach is not a system of giving handouts, it is an initial contact…a friendly conversation or prayer in the way of giving hope and a hand up to those that many people so often avoid even acknowledge exist. Street outreach is the first step in helping reverse the pattern of the stigma that homelessness carries,” says Meyer.
The program is not one of dollars, but is instead, one of action…and those actions are paying dividends to the homeless of Hemet.
Anyone who is interested in volunteering, contact city Councilmember Meyer at 951-313-3405 or the Homeless Outreach Team volunteers Facebook group.