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Loaves And Fishes Building New Friendship Park For Homeless

Bob Moffitt / Capital Public Radio

Patty Michel-Evleth empties a bag of dirt from her property into a wagon that was taken to the site of the new Friendship Park and scattered. Rains forced much of the ceremony indoors.

Bob Moffitt / Capital Public Radio

Sacramento's Loaves and Fishes center for the homeless has broken ground on a new day park. At a ceremony Wednesday,  supporters blessed the ground of the new Friendship Park.

People brought dirt from their backyards, from holy sites they'd visited, and from work.

Erika Enslin brought dirt from Sacramento Fire Station 14. She's a captain there.   

"We're the fire station that responds to most of their calls and we feel we have a connection with the homeless here."

The fire station logo includes a fire hose, axe, shovel, shopping cart, and bandanna tied to a stick.

0106 16 sac fire 14 homeless logo

Patty Michel-Evleth brought dirt from her yard and participated in the ceremony.

"I brought it to contribute to the holy ground in hopes that this will be a welcoming place for these people who have no home."

Sister Libby Fernandez says the new park will include at least three buildings for non-profit services and five gazebos.

"The new park will consist of new bathrooms for our homeless guests, a service center where they can receive services, different buildings for non profits to help our homeless people get off the streets."

Sister Libby says the old Friendship Park buildings will be torn down.

"The old park is really dilapidated and is very, very old and we'd like to gift that land to an organization like Mercy Housing to be able to really help the footprint of homelessness ended by building permanent, supportive housing."

The project will cost $3 million dollars. Loaves and Fishes is using the land it owns as collateral, but is hoping to raise $1 million to decrease its monthly loan payments.

0106 16 bm loaves and fishes friendship park site

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