WEEKLY NEWS DIGEST (March 14-20, 2011)

CHARITY

A homeless man serves the homeless; Ray Polk is a one-man social agency, offering food, clothes, counseling and a makeshift chapel to his fellow denizens of the streets. And he’s created a memorial to those who have died.” By Diana Marcum. Los Angeles Times. March 13, 2011. In the shadow of an abandoned overpass, less than a quarter mile from the larger tent cities that flank the south side of Fresno, Ray Polk has carved out a one-man social agency: a homeless man helping the homeless. That fresh-white counter over there (a donated cabinet with a coat of paint) is where he distributes food to a few dozen homeless people. A church group picks up donations from Trader Joe’s and brings them to him every week. Polk displays bread and produce in a repurposed Otis Spunkmeyer case on top of the counter. Along the dead-end road he calls home he has staked Bible verses on poster board — a picket fence of misspelled Scripture. He has a locked shack full of clothes in case someone needs something to keep them warm. There’s a chapel fashioned of blue tarp. The name of the place, Homeless Ministries, is spelled out marquee style, but instead of in neon it’s with white cups placed in the holes of a chain link fence.

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