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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Summit Electric Supply has donated a catering truck to help the state’s largest homeless shelter expand its services. Dubbed the “Lifeline of Hope,” the food vehicle will enable Joy Junction to provide simple foods and beverages to the homeless who remain on the streets.
“This outreach could make the difference between life and death to someone cold, hungry and dehydrated,” said shelter founder and CEO, Dr. Jeremy Reynalds.
The shelter has been turning away as many as 25 people a night for lack of space. Joy Junction has two vans and one small bus for transporting the homeless to the shelter and for giving out coats and blankets. But Reynalds envisioned a truck that could meet the homeless who remain on the streets and provide warm food and drinks to show that someone cares.
Summit President and CEO Victor R. Jury Jr., a long-time supporter of the shelter, happened to read about the idea in the shelter’s newsletter last month. He found the 2006 Chevrolet Silverado catering truck on eBay. It was in West Palm Beach, Fla. He gave Reynalds one of his free airline tickets to fly out and pick it up.
“When I read Jeremy’s newsletter article in which he shared his vision for a mobile catering vehicle to provide a homeless person a warm cup of cocoa or coffee, some soup or a sandwich or maybe a blanket or jacket on a cold day, I couldn’t stop thinking about how simple and doable it was,” Jury said.
“Knowing that, until folks like us step up and help Jeremy build more capacity at Joy Junction, he has to turn people away at night made it unconscionable to do nothing. This is the first step. The next order of business is for our company and community to step up and build more capacity at Joy Junction. Children should not be forced to sleep outdoors or in a car, especially on a cold winter night.”
The food vehicle will launch services on Sunday, Nov. 8, at 1 p.m. at the corner of First and Iron in downtown Albuquerque, an area often frequented by the homeless, and one of Joy Junction’s regular pick-up locations.
The “Lifeline of Hope” will be stocked to serve 150 on its launch. It is estimated that each serving will cost, on average, $1.25. A few donors have joined Summit in giving a modest amount of start-up resources, but Reynalds is counting on the community to provide financial and volunteer support.