Unbeknownst to anyone, the first seeds of the Mercy Coalition were planted beneath burnt timbers in 2010.
When a fire destroyed the day shelter at the Broderick Christian Center that summer, it interrupted a source of daily food and services to West Sacramento’s homeless. The city’s faith community mobilized in less than 48 hours to fill the gap, with more than a dozen churches agreeing to supply food, funding or manpower to provide daily lunches for the homeless population. That effort lasted for more than six weeks as the Broderick Christian Center regrouped.
As it turned out, it was only a foreshadowing of what was to come.
When local nonprofits lost their funding to feed the homeless in September 2013, the city’s churches and faith organizations once again came together to fill the gap. But instead of serving just a few weeks this time, the lunches have not stopped coming to the homeless every single weekday since then. Through December 2016 that had amounted to more than 35,000 lunches going out to the homeless and poor of our community.
Along the way, the Coalition has grown in strength and partnership, working in agreement with the City of West Sacramento, Yolo County Health and Human Services, and numerous other nonprofits to serve our friends on a consistent basis. That has included a role in the city’s collaborative Bridge 2 Housing initiative in 2014, helping more than 70 riverbank inhabitants transition to to more permanent housing.
At every step, our diverse manifestations of faith have linked us together in common purpose and friendship – an atmosphere of love and acceptance, and a belief that we are far, far more than the sum of our resources. We are humbled and privileged to serve, and can’t wait to be humbled and privileged even more.