From homeless to helping

By Dennis D. Cruz

Nancy Lamb was homeless, out on the streets of Stockton for quite some time. She received help and vowed to someday help others in need. In 2016 she was able to open up Stockton 209 Cares to help those in need.

“Homelessness can be many things, and those who are homeless all have different circumstances,” Lamb said. “For some it is a choice that they made, they choose to be a drifter. For others, they fell on hard times, a loss of a job. Others spiral with drugs and alcohol. The thing to remember is that they are all human, and want to be treated as such.”

Stockton 209 Cares is a non-profit organization that helps out San Joaquin County families get back on their feet. In the short time of the organization’s existence, it has helped out with food, haircuts, clothing drives, job applications, school supplies and even helped reunite some families.

“There was one man, who lived near the canals. We reached out to him and got to know him well.
We found out that his family lived in Southern California,” Lamb explained. “We looked up his family and told them about him and his living conditions. They did not know about his status and took him down there. They have since shown us photos of him along with his children.”

This past summer Stockton 209 Cares organized a school supplies drive for young students in need. Thanks to the overwhelming support of the community they helped several students with basic needs for the new school year. From back packs, to lunch boxes, to paper and pens, 209 Cares helped make the start of the new school year a little brighter for students and parents alike.

With the holidays rapidly approaching, 209 Cares also plans to lend a hand to those in need of food and clothing this winter.

“We are getting started collecting canned foods and other supplies for holiday dinners. Each year we donate complete meals to families in San Joaquin County. We deliver them to shelters, homes, churches and wherever else they need them,” said Lamb.

Also this winter they will be helping out with toy drives to assist those in need this holiday season.

Lamb said she is thankful for the blessings and turnaround in her life. She wanted to stress to everyone that if you see a homeless person, take the time to get to know them and treat them with respect.

“These are people who come from many different backgrounds. At the end of the day, they are human beings, someone’s son, father, uncle, mother, daughter or whatever. They have feelings and value.”

For more information on Stockton 209 Cares, contact Nancy Lamb direct at (209) 922-6789 or visit www.stockton209cares.org.

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