Escondido, CA

Reaching out to the homeless

~ Guest Opinion

As you know, Escondido has a large homeless population and Grape Day Park is a favorite amongst their community. Here at the EHC, we notice a number of kindhearted citizens visit the park with bags of clothes, blankets, food, and more, especially during the holiday season.

Last year we even noticed a trend that included wrapping jackets around lampposts in the hopes a lucky soul would find what they needed. What many people do not see is what happens to those donations after they leave. Quite often, discarded clothing is strewn all over the park, bags of clothes are ripped open and ground into the mud or thrown in the trash, and uneaten food is left to rot.

What it comes down to is this, too many belongings are a burden to people who are itinerant. Many of these folks visit shelters or soup kitchens for meals. Surprisingly, most have some sort of income in the form of disability or other government help and are not totally without means; however, that does not mean they are able to meet all of their own basic needs. Homelessness is a very complex issue.

In an effort to assist both our homeless population as well as the people who want to do something, the Escondido History Center is collaborating with Interfaith Services. We encourage everyone to drop by our office, Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., to drop off food and toiletries. Together, we will ensure your donations get to the people who really need your help.

We encourage you to donate the following items:

Nonperishable food items:

soups canned chili/beans
peanut butter canned vegetables
canned fruit pasta meals
canned meat/fish


deodorant combs/brushes
soap shaving cream
shampoo razors
conditioner toothbrushes

** Toiletries should be assembled in a 1-gallon Ziploc bag. Please refrain from including any supplies that contain alcohol, such as hand sanitizer or mouthwash.

** We have not included clothing or blankets on this list as Interfaith assures us they have an ample supply of clothing.

Grape Day Park is a Public Park and we want to ensure that it remains a family friendly, safe environment for everyone. By directing some of our charitable giving, we hope to ensure that the people who need your help the most are the recipients of your good will.

*Note: Opinions expressed by columnists and letter writers are those of the writers and not necessarily those of the newspaper.

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