SAN DIEGO — More than 50 children with the nonprofit organization “Streets of Hope” —designed to help people in San Diego experience homelessness — attended their very first baseball game on Sunday.
“We just want these children today to know that they are caring and loved because many of them are one step away from being homeless and that is not fair,” said Civil Rights Advocate Brian Claypool, who sponsored the 51 children.
“Today it’s really about leveling the playing field for these kids,” Claypool said.
“Streets of Hope” founder and board member Dan D’Amato says the events would not be possible without volunteers and sponsors.
“Just giving a child this way builds their self-esteem — gives them the confidence that people do not care, we are a community, and they will not be forgotten,” D’Amato said.
D’Amato says that before the pandemic, there were several children sleeping on the street with their parents.
“You can come out here every night, see about 70 to 100 kids sleeping on the street next to their parents,” he said.
The children arrived at Petco Park on a party bus and received an autographed picture of starting Padres pitcher Joe Musgrove, a baseball cap and a bracelet with the words “Never stop.”
Each child was treated to a hot dog, fries and a coke, which Claypool says is necessary when going to a baseball game.
The “Streets of Hope” vision is to give hope to those who live on the streets of San Diego. Ophelia Gonzalez, a mother of five, says that was exactly what they did for her family.
“During our journey, through all of this, even toward the end, as now, we could be more grateful,” Gonzalez said. “Most likely I would not be able to be here, to be able to take them to a game if it were not for them right now.”
If you would like to volunteer or donate to “Streets of Hope”, click here.
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