Camden, NJ (WTXF) - It's been said so often it's almost a cliche, but the saying 'Give a man a fish he eats for a day' applied today at a homeless resources fair in Camden to a man named Bernard.
“I’m here because my job. I don’t make much money. I get social security so I come and get a meal every day.”
But the second part of the quote 'teach a man to fish and he eats for a lifetime' is the overall goal of many involved like Chef Mark.
“Coming home from prison and not having a place to stay is a very scary thing. And with the programs not in place to help the people they have no choice but to pretty much go back to what they use to do.”
How to help the homeless and ex-offender population is a daily debate. In Camden at Cathedral Kitchen, they announced new plans Wednesday. Job, housing and social services programs were launched but we really wanted to hear from the people rarely involved in decisions but most impacted by them. People like “Larry”
“I have a beautiful wife in my life but she wants me to find me a rehab, make a better life for myself and be the man that I know I can be.”
Steps away from the press conference was a resource fair where FOX 29's Bill Anderson met Larry. He came for help with substance abuse issues. He appreciates available services but thinks too many are disconnected.
“Just like they come out here right now, they need to come out to the streets and see the streets, spend the day with some of the people in the streets….you’ve gotta see the problem to fix the problem.
“Junior” was also there looking for support Being laid off started the downward spiral that led to homelessness. He also appreciated the day’s efforts but being newly homeless opened his eyes to how hard it is to get help when to many you’re invisible.
“You see me walking around with bags. Yes, I’m homeless but you can come talk to me. I’m a nice guy I’ll talk back to you.”
Bernard came for a meal, Larry needs rehab and Junior a job but they also all expressed how important it is that we realize problems are solved by talking to them at least as much as we talk about them….For Goodness Sake.