A recent KQED News article entitled “Why Do These 4 Myths About Homelessness Persist?” features long time Trinity Center volunteer Horace Crawford and our Executive Director Donna Columbo. Written by Rachael Myrow, KQED’s acting Silicon Valley Bureau Chief, the article uses data compiled by governments and service providers to explode several myths about homelessness, including:

  • Myth #1: They’re not from around here
  • Myth #2: Homeless people don’t want to be housed
  • Myth #3: Mentally ill people could pull themselves out of homelessness if they just agreed to take their medications

Here are comments from Horace and Donna on another myth:

  • Myth #4: There’s nothing I can do to help

Think you’ve got nothing to offer other than your spare change? Think again, said Donna Colombo, executive director of the Trinity Center in Contra Costa County.

“Come talk to me. All homeless service organizations need volunteers to help do a lot of things. All you need to do is show up,” Colombo said.

Horace Crawford has been showing up for about ten years now. The 81-year-old retired architectural engineer said many people get overwhelmed by the “big picture” and fail to see how they can deliver practical help in all sorts of ways.

For the past few years, Crawford has made himself personally available to homeless individuals in the area, using his truck to help move people’s belongings or drive someone to a medical appointment. He’s also taken it upon himself to coordinate day work for homeless people, building a local network between them and those who want to help.

He recognizes there can be an intimidation factor to working so closely with homeless people.

“People are a bit afraid of working with a homeless person, but if they know me, and I vouch for someone, they’re OK. Result is, I’ve got a bunch of friends that I’ve never had before!” he said.

CLICK HERE for full article.