SoupMobile Offers a Hand Up as New Tent City Appears

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DALLAS -- "2000 years ago, Jesus said, 'Feed my sheep.'"

David Timothy has taken that passage literally through the years, and that's just what his SoupMobile gang did Sunday for the homeless in Dallas.  Free food wasn't the extent of Sunday's Free Prayer Day, though.

"Giving out free bus passes, giving out McDonald's gift cards and most important, we're giving out job aid kits to help them get jobs," Timothy said.

The SoupMobile Church, located next to I-45, was full of the city's homeless Sunday, but Timothy, known as the Soupman, was very specific that they weren't giving "hand outs".

"They're down on their luck. That's for sure," he said. "They're living in tents. That's for sure. We know that with a little bit of help, a 'hand up', not a 'hand out', we know that they can get their lives back together."

Their target audience has suddenly come to them. Since Tent City closed last week, many of the campers moved under a different section of the I-45 overpass, and it's right behind the SoupMobile Church.

"I knew about two weeks ahead that they were going to shut down," a Tent City camper who goes by Blue Eyes explained. "That's when I started packing."

Blue Eyes and his wife have two dogs and six puppies, and it's that octet of animals that's keep them out of shelters and under bridges. That's why living close to SoupMobile Church is a blessing so far.

"You get spiritual food and regular food," he said. "You gotta have both of 'em."

Even though the ultimate goal of getting the homeless off the streets and into homes isn't close to being met right now, taking a "hand up" is certainly a start.