Extreme heat with no shade or shelter is the harsh reality homeless people face under our desert sun. It's a reality far too familiar for Kevin Fish, of Twentynine Palms, who lived on the streets four years ago.
"It's horrific. Being that I was homeless as a veteran, it hurt," said Fish. "Whenever I got out of homelessness, I always said I was going to pay it forward."
Fish started the Sword of the Lord Ministries Mission near the Twentynine Palms Marine Base seven months ago. A four-bedroom house was donated to help the mission provide food, shelter, a bed and permanent resources to get the homeless, veterans or not, back on their feet.
The mission houses 13 people. Fish plans to get enough bunk beds to turn the garage into an air conditioned bunk house, which will fit more than 20 people.
"Just the food and shelter alone is better than sleeping out with the scorpions, snakes and coyotes, and all of that. They've been very helpful," said Jeff Pope who is homeless in Twentynine Palms.
To keep the mission running, it takes donations and Fish's Change for Vets Thrift Store in Twentynine Palms.
"The thrift store is designed for any homeless to come in and get food, clothing and ministry if they want to. We'll help them get the resources they need." said Fish.
Fish said this mission provides a helping hand to people who need it 365 days a year, 24/7.
"Combating homelessness doesn't end at 5 o'clock. That's what a lot of our community outreach does," he said.
Since the mission kicked off and with outreach at the thrift store, more than 50 people have received permanent resources.
"I'm more than grateful. It's a godsend," said Pope.
Contact the Sword of the Lord Ministries Mission and Change for Vets Thrift Store at 760-368-8715.
For more information about the Sword of the Ministries Community Church in Thousand Palms and its Valley wide efforts, visit swordofthelordministries.org