One Nonprofit's Mission Provides Water For Homeless
by: Pat Hernandez, June 15, 2012 9:06:00 pm
Elena Davis, founder and president
Inside a steamy warehouse near downtown, the first shipment of water is being taken off a tractor-trailer. It's being delivered to the Star of Hope.
The donation is being made possible by the nonprofit group I Am Waters.
Elena Davis is founder and president:
"We're able to deliver the water to them, and it's been extremely helpful to them because, at the end of the day the shelter systems are trying to keep everybody alive, and everybody functioning and getting on to their next steps to find housing, to find jobs, and they're able to take the water with them on the bus. So they've been able to stay away for longer periods of time from the shelters. They're able to do more job interviews at one time, because if you're standing out waiting for a bus for two hours, you are going to dehydrate."
She started the organization after she gave a homeless woman some water when she was stopped at a traffic light.
Scott Arthur with Star of Hope
"When I started this, I had no idea that we were going to be the only organization in the United States, not only that delivers its water, but its with this unique message on it. We have words on the bottles inscribed, such as dream, hope, love and peace. And so we're delivering physical and spiritual hydration."
Davis, a former fashion model, says growing up, her family wasn't far from being homeless. It's something she will never forget.
"When you've reached a point in your life that you even need water, you've really hit a bottom bottom point. And nobody should be without the most basic element and basis of life, and that's water. So, delivering the most basic human need, it's a blessing for the organization to be able to do this, and it's been a blessing for the homeless to have it."
Scott Arthur with Star of Hope says the first shipment unloaded was for 38,000 bottles.
"They're gonna give a total of 342,000 bottles in the Houston area this summer. And with the record remperatures in the triple digits for weeks at a time, we're gonna need a lot of water. We have the "Love in Action" van that goes out and ministers to all of the people that you see on the streets in downtown, and we will probably give out about a 1,000 bottles of water every single week, if not more."
I Am Waters has increased distribution this year to shelters in Austin, San Antonio and New Orleans. Sometime this summer the organization will reach the one million bottle mark.