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Is Their Homeless Mission The Right One?

homeless.jpg

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Josh Ellis and Aaron Archer are on a mission.

But is it heaven sent?

The two have started an Amazon wish list where they've listed items needed by homeless people living in Las Vegas. 

People from around the world can go to the list and buy clothing, food and life essentials like toothpaste, tampons and more. The boxes are shipped to Ellis and Archer, who then distribute them to the thousands of homeless on Las Vegas streets.

Ellis came up with the idea in December after he posted on his Facebook that he was going to bring coffee, tea, and cups of noodle soup to people living on the street and a friend responded by ordering and sending him a large, insulated beverage dispenser.

Since he started the wish list and pushed his efforts out on to social media, dozens of boxes have arrived every day from friends and acquaintances from around the world. 

"It's something I've been thinking about for a long time," he said, "But December was when I decided to stop talking and stop thinking and start acting."

Some believe feeding, clothing and aiding the homeless only works to prevent them from finding a way off the streets.

Ellis and Archer say they just want to add some measure of ease to the lives of those without a permanent place to stay.

Support comes from

Meanwhile, Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada and many other agencies are funded through taxes to provide services, including job and skills training, to the homeless.

 

Ellis said there is nothing wrong with the efforts being made by charities and government agencies but they're trying to make miracles happen without a lot of money.

"I tend to think differently," he said, "I try to think about ways to do things that are just alternatives to how we've been doing it."

At this point, Ellis and Archer don't have any kind of structure or system in place. Ellis said they're just "throwing stuff at the wall to see what sticks." In other words, he said they're trying low-level alternatives to the big picture efforts by charities and agencies.

And so far, they're finding a lot of people willing to help in any way that they can.

From Desert Companion: Society: Man on a mission

Guests

Josh Ellis, helping the homeless

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