Charity on Wheels is a Christ-centered nonprofit organization dedicated to rescuing and restoring people who are struggling with poverty and homelessness. Charity on Wheels also equips churches to engage with their local homeless populations to effect change in their communities.
Founded by Zach Southall & his wife Michelle in 2012, Charity on Wheels’ approach to fighting homelessness begins with “a hand up, not a handout.”
Zach, who also serves as Director of Worship Arts at Salem Lutheran in Orange, CA, shares, “Yes, we do focus on personal responsibility, but our secret weapon is Jesus. Homelessness is a very nuanced issue, there is not a one size fits all solution, but we’ve seen lives completely transformed, again and again, when the Gospel is preached, and God’s people get involved.”
Charity on Wheels operates several weekly outreach programs to engage and form relationships with people struggling with poverty and homelessness. Michelle Southall says, “No one cares about what you know, until they know you care. Every success we’ve ever had began with an authentic relationship, built by consistent interaction. Caring for a person every week, who can never repay the kindness is what moves the needle. Grace works! You cannot have a pivotal conversation with someone about changing their lives without first earning relationship equity.”
Charity on Wheels’ methodologies run contrary to most of the systems being utilized to fight this growing epidemic, but more and more people are taking notice. The Charity has been featured in a number of publications including the Orange County Register, and the Los Angeles Times. In addition, Zach has spoken about homelessness on several television programs, most recently being featured on the Hour of Power with Bobby Schuller.
Charity on Wheels utilizes an army of volunteers to accomplish its goals. Every week people from various churches and schools come together to care for the “least of these.” Students from Concordia University and Crean Lutheran High School are a common fixture at the Charity’s events.
Weekly Outreach Programs:
Street Outreach: Outreach teams provide hot meals and resources to those living on the street.
Wednesday Night Dinner Gathering: Guests enjoy dinner, worship music, and a testimony or teaching followed by access to resources.
The Rest Center: Focused on homeless seniors, guests can find rest and refuge at Charity on Wheels’ Anaheim facility.
Resources Provided (Homeless):
Job Placement Assistance
Mentoring & Discipleship
Help & Hygiene Bags
Meals - Food Pantry
Help Agency Referrals
Move In & Rental Assistance
Training: Homeless Engagement, Resources & Support
Talks on Homelessness
Service Opportunities – Missions
Enable more stories of transformed lives through Jesus
Untold thousands are still in darkness, lost like “sheep that have gone astray”. But this is exactly the mission our Lord has created His Church for – reaching the lost for Jesus’ sake in as many ways as necessary. This is the purpose for which our 300 churches and 150 schools were founded in their many contexts. And “the fields are ripe for the harvest” right now!
Your gifts are critical and enable us to continue and expand our shared work together, fulfilling the PSD mission of effectively resourcing congregations and schools for transforming lives and making the Great Commission REAL!
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