Issue 6 Magazine News

Homelessness Affects All

Pocket change only goes so far. What else does Walnut Creek offer to the homeless? Exactly a month after a homeless man found living behind Mona’s French classroom was arrested and escorted off campus, a different homeless man was discovered burglarizing Mrs. Sheehan’s math classroom. Mrs. Sheehan’s class is the only room thought to have been burglarized. What he stole and how he broke into the classroom is still unknown. 

Walnut Creek’s homeless can depend on more than just pocket change or stolen items.  Walnut Creek has a homeless shelter called the Trinity Center. This is a church-run organization that is open Monday to Friday from 8 am to 4 pm, with the exception of Wednesdays and Thursdays. On Wednesdays, the Trinity Center is open to women only, from 12 PM to 4 PM, while the Center is completely closed on Thursdays. The Trinity Center offers food, showers, clean clothing, and accessible phones. All these resources are available for those who seek its help. The Trinity Center serves a healthy and simple breakfast and lunch to those who come to the shelter for food. “Our vision is to serve them a meal that we would serve if we invited some friends over; it’s really good food… There’s usually about 8 or 10 people working in the kitchen… it’s all made by us,” said Mrs. Ashlock, a volunteer for the Trinity Center. The Trinity’s mission statement is “…to be the doorway to opportunity for homeless and working poor people.” Trinity is funded by the community, the city, churches, foundations, federal funds, donations, and grants. It accepts donations on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 9 am and 3 pm. 

The Trinity Center’s fifth annual gala, Night of Hope, also helps to collect funds through tickets costing $150 per person before April 25, and $200 after. The gala will include live entertainment, a full course meal, and silent and live auctions. The gala will be held on May 16 from 6 PM to 9 PM; all proceeds will be used to help support the homeless.

The Trinity Center is a daytime shelter, so the homeless do not use the shelter as a place to sleep. Over the winter, however, there is a plan “…During the winter in Walnut Creek, the Trinity Center has made arrangements with the National Guard Armory… [where] people from Trinity can apply to go there at night and sleep,” said Mrs. Ashlock. The Armory is open from December 3 to March 29 for those who have passed the requirements. Currently, 25 people have passed the requirements and are given a hot dinner and a place to sleep.