Homeless Awareness Month


Jim Grant Bishop Ochoa Crest
Most Reverend Armando X. Ochoa, D.D.
Roman Catholic Diocese of Fresno

In St. Matthew’s Gospel, chapter 25:31-45, Jesus tells us that we must feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, welcome the stranger, clothe the naked, comfort the sick, and visit the imprisoned. He assures us that when we do this for the poor and vulnerable, we do it for him. Clearly he tells us that these people have the same dignity that he does himself.

The poorest and most vulnerable of our brothers and sisters are those who are homeless. And so the Diocese of Fresno will join with others in Fresno’s faith community to observe the month of February as “Homeless Awareness Month” when we will all be called on to reflect on what we can do to help our homeless live with the dignity which is theirs as Children of God. The Bishop John Steinbock Homeless Advocacy Committee will arrange various programs including bulletin and Catholic Life articles, an essay contest, a Forum on Homelessness, KNXT programming, and a Readers’ Theater.

The number of our homeless continues to grow throughout our Diocese and throughout our country. They include countless veterans who haven’t been able to re-integrate into society after serving to defend our country. They include the mentally ill, alcoholics, and addicts. Unfortunately, thousands of the homeless in the Diocese of Fresno are children and youth who couldn’t continue living with a dysfunctional family or have been foster children who have no place to go when they turn 18. Increasingly, the homeless include those who have lost their jobs and their houses because of a bad economy. And there are many more who are living “on the edge”, about to fall into homelessness.

Catholic Social Justice Teaching includes “the preferential option for the poor and vulnerable”. As long as there are those who are too poor to live with at least a minimum dignity, the rest of us, both as individuals and as a society, must share our own riches with the poor.

During this month of February, let us encourage all of our parishioners to become more aware of the poor and homeless and help them in any way we can. All of our people need to realize that a kind word, a sandwich, a bottle of water, a donation to Catholic Charities, all go a long way.

If we want to be in heaven with Jesus’ favored poor, it’s the least we must do.


Armando Ochoa Signature

Most Reverend Armando X. Ochoa, D.D.
Roman Catholic Diocese of Fresno


Current Knxt shows on the homeless.



Homeless Awareness Month includes a student essay contest about any aspect of Homelessness.  For example:  What is it like to be homeless?  Where can the homeless sleep tonight?  What if I was homeless?  What is the solution for homelessness?  Do I know anyone who is homeless? What is my responsibility for the homeless?  What should our church do for the homeless?  When I see a homeless person…

There will be first, second, and third place prizes for these grade levels: 1-2, 3-4, 5- 6, 7-9,
10-12.  Essays will be judged by members of the Bishop Steinbock Homeless Advocacy Committee.

The deadline for entries is February 28.  Send entries to Jim Nelson by US mail at 5403 E. Bellaire Way Fresno 93702 or by email to jamnel@comcast.net.   Include your name and contact information with your entry.

Winners will be announced on March 11.



Bishop Ochoa has designated February as Homeless Awareness Month for the parishes in the Fresno area.  For details, go to helpinfresno.org/   The Bishop Steinbock Homeless Advocacy Committee has organized several activities during the month.  Two programs about homelessness will air on KNXT (49) Forum for Understanding on February 11 and February 18 at 9:30 pm  and will be re-broadcast later during the same weeks. These and other KNXT programs about homelessness are also on YouTube: knxt.tv/   There will be a student essay contest.  Also look for articles in your parish bulletin and in Catholic Life, the diocesan newspaper.  And, most importantly, when you see a homeless brother or sister, recognize the dignity that Jesus says is theirs.  Offer them a kind word; and, to the extent possible, feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, and welcome the stranger.



He calls himself “Little Joe”. Most of the time he stays under a plastic sheet on Santa Clara St.downtown.  Sometimes he eats at Poverello House.  Sometimes not.  If you would like to help our homeless brothers and sisters, contact Bill at the Bishop Steinbock Homeless Advocacy Committee: 227-6565 or bsimon6565@sbcglobal.net.



I was on a casual ride home. Eastbound on Ashlan Avenue heading towards Clovis Avenue.   Between Cedar and Peach I counted 3 individuals, two men and one woman, with a dog, at different corners holding their signs. “Homeless and hungry.”“Will work for food.” “Please help me.”  All the signs ended with “Thank you, God bless you.”
Then my mind headed in another direction.  I was asking myself, “Who are these people, why are they standing on these corners asking for help, what brought them here, are they victims or are they volunteers?”
“Why them and not me?”  “Why? Why?”
I thought of a line from the gospel of Matthew, “Stop judging, that you may not be judged. For as you judge, so will you be judged …”
Suddenly, perhaps the most important question began to awaken me, “What can I do to help?”


November 7, 2011, 9:30 am, Janie yells through her tears: "Where can I go?  Where am I supposed to go?  Nobody knows where to go!"  The Bee photographer asks: "Where are they supposed to go?"  There is no answer.  Janie is 31 years old and has lived on the street since she was 19.  The last I saw of Janie she was trying to push two overloaded shopping carts, all her possessions that would fit, to she knew not where.  This is day 10 in the City's and Caltrans' effort to destroy all the homeless encampments in Fresno

And I remember watching as the bulldozers smashed and then trashed Lisa’s belongings.  She is a student at Chavez Continuation School.  She had to be away from her camp on November 1 when Caltrans presumably saved three little bags of clothing and textbooks before smashing everything else she owned and the life she was struggling so hard to put back together. 
Then there was Paul and Tracy and Jessie and Little Joe and Hector and Diana and Richard and Amy and on and on. 

These are our brothers and sisters.  In Matthew 25, Jesus tells us we must feed them, clothe them, and welcome them if we want to be with them in heaven.



These are all found on the KNXT.TV website home page & Youtube.com/knxt1




Date Posted


Forum on Homeless Awareness Month #1                                                                                       to be  broadcast February 11, 2013 at 9:30 pm, February 12 at 6:00 pm and February 15 at 11:30 am






Forum on Homeless Awareness Month #2                                                 to be broadcast on February 18, 2013 at 9:30 pm, February 19 at 6:00 pm and February 22 at 11:30 am                                                                               






PSA - Homelessness



Forum 300 - Homelessness: What it Really Looks Like



Forum 300- Homelessness: What it Really Looks Like



(Mike Rhodes, Greg Barfield, Bill Simon)



Forum 301 - Homelessness: Various Approaches and Possible Answers



Forum 301- Homelessness: Various Approaches and Possible Answers



(Mike Rhodes, Greg Barfield, Liza Apper, Mike McGarvin, Doreen Eley



Forum 302 - Homelessness: Projects in Merced



Forum 302:  Homelessness: Projects in Merced



(Renee Davenport, Diane Antoine, John Carlisle)



Forum 327- Homelessness in Fresno: Alternative Proposals, pt. 1



Forum 327- Homelessness in Fresno: Alternative Proposals, pt.2



(Mike Rhodes, Arthur Dyson, Al Williams)



Forum 333  - Bishop Steinbock Homeless Advocacy Committee, pt. 1



Forum 333- Bishop Steinbock Homeless Advocacy Committee, pt. 2



(Fr. Jim Rude, Bill Simon, Dick & Sandy Gallagher, Luis &Ceci Lopez)



KNXT SPECIAL: Now that the Encampments are Gone (Live on 12/08/11)



KNXT SPECIAL: Fresno's Homeless: What's Next? (Live on 03/01/12)



This is Our City with H Spees: Homelessness                                                                                  (Pastor Jymme Foote, Breaking Free Revival Center)



This is Our City with H Spees: Homeless Advocate (Bill Simon)





1. That we may have insight and compassion for the poor, the hungry, the abandoned, the homeless in our midst, let us pray to the Lord.

2. That we may awaken our hearts to the needs of the homeless in their struggle for shelter, see in them our common human dignity, and be generous in assisting them, let us pray to the Lord.

3. For the homeless, that we may grasp the reality of their pain and suffering and see in them the face of Jesus, let us pray to the Lord.

4. That each of us will work on behalf of the homeless and encourage others to do so as well, let us pray to the Lord.

5. For the homeless, that we may daily offer prayers and assistance for those men, women, and children who suffer greatly during the winter cold and rain, let us pray to the Lord.

6. That we may all recognize the dignity of our homeless brothers and sisters and treat them as family, let us pray to the Lord.

7.  For the homeless, that we may feed the hungry, clothe the naked, welcome the stranger, and finally come to share with them the joys of the heavenly kingdom, let us pray to the Lord.