The Sierra Vista Presbyterian Church held a meeting and dinner for all Mountain Area churches on Tuesday, Nov. 5 in hopes of coming up with ways to help the homeless community in Oakhurst and the surrounding areas.
According to Michael Baird, the administrator for Sierra Vista Presbyterian Church, more than 80 members from 15 different churches showed up to discuss the topic of helping the homeless.
As of now, the Sierra Vista Presbyterian Church opens its doors for one day a week to give the homeless a place to stay. The invitation includes a dinner, breakfast and requires that each visitor fill out a registration card that gives personal and medical information in case of an emergency.
Baird is looking to start a non-profit organization that includes all churches and members of the community who would potentially volunteer there time and property to helping the homeless.
"Churches need to be unified to address theses concerns in the community...as Christians, it is what we should do," Baird said.
Baird said the focus is going to be on the three R's which are Rescue, Recovery, and Restore. As of now, the group is concentrating on the rescue aspect, however, the recover and restoration components would be a way to help people find jobs, housing and get them back on their feet permanently.
Baird wants the public to understand that not all homeless are drug addicts and alcoholics. According to Baird, many of these community members have just fallen on hard times.
"We want to redefine who the homeless are...there are a few taking advantage and we know this, but that's not the majority," said Baird.