Provide gifts for homeless children

Toys and Joys for Girls and Boys

Join the 20 day challenge to collect enough toys to provide for all of the homeless children living on Motel Drive.

We are collecting toys that will be given to homeless children that Desiree has encountered on Motel Drive.

What we need:

-Businesses to serve as drop off locations

-Donations of toys for children of all ages 0-18

-You may also donated money towards gifts by sending money via Paypal to homelessinfresno@gmail.com

-Volunteers to help wrap gifts and possibly help deliver toys

To get involved, please contact volunteer Brandi Nuse-Villegas at 559-305-2617 or email at brandiangela78@gmail.com.

 

Founder Desiree’s Story

Founder Desiree Martinez’s Story

…and why We Are Not Invisible was founded.

Hello,  I am Desiree.  On July 11, 2016, I moved into a permanent place I could finally call home. Prior to that I was homeless. I went from my car to a shelter back to my car and was also allowed to stay at friends from time to time. This went on for a year and half. I was not on alcohol or drugs. My homelessness happened due to the lack of funds I receive from SSD (disability). I was put on SSD in 2010 when my spinal cord was severed and I had a spinal fusion.

I had been very depressed and had suicidal thoughts. I found an organization (media school) in my city that allowed me to be there from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. everyday.

This was my safe haven and I was able to keep my mind off my life out there and focus on positive things. While at the media school, I learned how to edit, film, and create shows. I began to use the school and what I learned to get by making shows or interviews for the Fresno community.  I also started Fresno Eatz, a food show, in order to get free food. This helped me, so I wanted to help others out there and use the tools to raise awareness  and help end hunger in our community.

While being homeless, I found that many churches and organizations did not help. I found myself calling everyday for shelter and food. The only answer I would get was “We do not have any funding available right now, I can give you another number you can try.” Local food banks were so far from each other that I never have bus fare to go get food. I am on SSDI and in California we do not receive any type of food allowance such as SNAP. It was very depressing, not only not having a permanent place, but also not having any food to eat.

When I finally got into a room I could barely afford ( my rent is 95% of my check), I continued to go out and raise awareness on the lack of funding and help we have in the field for  our forgotten part of the community. I used the skills I learned at the media school and social media to reach out to the community and get more people involved with our less fortunate.

I started to hand out water because that was all I could afford ($2.50 case) and the lack of access to water throughout our community streets was an urgent necessity. That is now a yearly project called Project H2O.

During my time out everyday, I found more and more items needed in order to just survive everyday out in the streets, We started a hygiene drive, coat drive, and blanket drive. This has now turned into Project Share The Warmth, which runs through our cold winter months.

On April 9, 2017, I completed 365 days, every day, in the field with the street families.  I would go out everyday, regardless of weather, to hand out water, food, hygiene kits or just go out to communicate and just hang out with our less fortunate.

It’s not always about the food. It’s about communication and rehumanizing our chronically homeless and helping our less fortunate.

Please take a moment and  view our short documentary on We are not Invisible.

We are Not Invisible  is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Your contribution is tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.

Benefit Concert and Art Show for WANI

A night of original music and songs from Tom Petty’s Wildflower album.
Musicians include:
Hazey Autumn with original music
Allen Goyne and Ruth Kehler
Terry Barnes
Chris Seitz
Curtis Buettner
and more
There is also an art show, including the Tom Petty murals to sign, by Brandi Nuse-Villegas from 2-8pm.
There is no charge, but we are asking for donations to benefit We Are Not Invisible/ Homeless In Fresno, a local 501 c (3) organization committed to partnering with our street family. Tom Petty was a long time supporter of homeless organizations like Midnight Mission and I’m excited to support our local street family and organization that I love with music from a band I love.

Check, cash, and cards accepted.
Donations are tax deductible.
In addition to monetary donations, we welcome donations of supplies for our street family, including socks, hygiene products, sleeping bags, water, etc. Go to WANIF.com for more information and to donate online.

Tom Petty (4)

Project Share The Warmth

Provide Warmth To Our Homeless

During the cold winter months,  our street family need help staying warm without shelter. There are two ways you can help share the warmth:

Volunteer

Come join us for Share the Warmth every Thursday, 6:00pm-9:30pm26733987_1953624018232560_3512425379198269992_n
Volunteers are needed to help prepare hot cocoa and other items for the night and to go out and share the warmth through friendship and sharing!

We also need volunteers to make a hot soup or stew each week!

The amount we need would be the equivalent of a 10 gallon Igloo container  or large posole pot. This would be how much we generally need to feed the number of street family we serve these evenings. Note: If you would like to donate prepared meals, you must be able to bring the items between 6-7pm to WANIF. WANIF is not available beforehand to pick up meals.

Donate

You can  literally envelope our family members in warmth by donating clothing and bedding! Are you part of a group, like a church, student or service group, club, or other organization? Help us by raising donations as a group!

25550557_1939771102951185_4089226493702029051_nItems needed include coats, socks, hats/caps, warm gloves, thermals, sweatpants, sleeping bags, tarps, pet warmers, and hygiene items. Food and beverages, as well, are needed, such as sandwiches, travel bags of coffee, tea, cocoa. and soups.

**Any used clothing items MUST be cleaned and in good condition. Donors must also be able to drop off donations, as WANI is not able to do donation pick-ups. We are not accepting children’s clothing.**
Everything will go directly to our street family.

If you are interested in getting involved, please contact volunteer Brandi Nuse-Villegas at 559-305-2617 or email brandiangela78@gmail.com or send a message on our Facebook page, We Are Not Invisible.

share the warmth

Funeral services for J.D.

We Are Not Invisible Foundation will be holding a funeral service for J.D.
Saturday, January 20, 2018, 10:00 a.m.
at Belmont Memorial Park, 201 N Teilman Ave.

J.D. was found dead where he slept on January 18, 2017. Currently, there are no leads into the investigation into his death.After one year, we are honored to finally lay our kind soul, J.D. to rest. The funeral is open to the community and we welcome all to come and pay their respects to J.D.For more information, email info@wanif.org.

See the Abc30 news story, “Homelesss man murdered nearly a year ago finally getting proper burial”

A life that has touched the
hearts of other lives on forever
Matthew 25:23

 

Belmont Memorial Park, where our kind soul J.D. will be laid to rest

Standing in Solidarity

#homelesslivesmatter  #TeamFresno #keysnotcuffsfresno #Solidaritywithhomeless

We would like to thank those who came to stand in solidarity with our homeless in Fresno at the Stand in Solidarity With The Homeless Camp Out Protest, September 29-30.

More to come.

Serving our street families