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Sunday gathering brings 125 homeless
Innercity boy stand DSC_5043.jpg
A 5-year-old youngster shows his appreciation for a new backpack to Inner-City counselor Morgan Castillo. The youth ran off to show his mother his new gift. - photo by GLENN KAHL/The Bulletin

It was a slow afternoon Monday for the Inner-City Action temporary homeless outreach campus in the parking lot of the former Qualex building on Industrial Park Drive.

On Sunday evening, 125 homeless made their way to the Homeless Revival Tent to tell their personal stories after sharing dinner.

Inner City Action founder Brother Frank Saldana used the break in activity Monday to gather his leadership team to discuss the past several days and plans for the homeless that have come forward to accept help to get off the streets.

Saldana told of one man who had come up to him who had a college degree saying he saw his education as a gift from his maker.  He quoted the man saying he wasn’t concerned about making a lot of money from his education but rather, “I want to take my gift and I want to help somebody.”

Meanwhile a 5-year-old boy who had been with his mother near the Revival Tent wandered close to the table where Sadana was meeting with his staff members.  Staffer Morgan Castillo  went over to the boy, knelt down to and presented him with a new black and red backpack.  

“Unzip it, open it up,” he told the youngster who did just that.  Finding a box of Cheerios inside, he reacted as though it were a Christmas gift, holding the box of cereal to his chest and grinning ear to ear.  It wasn’t long before Castillo was back at the table and the boy was off looking for his mom with tomorrow morning’s breakfast tucked safely in that new backpack. 

The Inner City Action campus will continue to operate through Feb.4 offering hot showers, hot meals, changes of clothes and the support of counselors for those asking for help to move out of their current homeless status in and around Manteca.

To contact Glenn Kahl, email