It started with a single case of water.

In 2008, Brendon O’Shea, a parishioner at St. Martin de Porres Church in Yorba Linda, was asked by a friend if he would like to join him on a trip up to Skid Row in Los Angeles to deliver a case of water to the homeless inhabitants.

Situated just east of downtown, the Skid Row enclave contains one of the largest homeless populations in the U.S.

O’Shea and his friend drove to Skid Row and delivered the water.

The outreach continued.

Members of a 12-step group O’Shea attended at St. Martin de Porres joined in and began making regular trips to Skid Row to donate water.

Word spread quickly, and as more volunteers joined, the Skid Row outreach group began taking in donations of other items to be distributed along with the water.

O’Shea recalls a donation of 2,000 T-shirts from a friend who owned a silk-screening business.

Another volunteer donated tarps which were cut up and turned into mini tents.

After about two years, the church administration met with O’Shea and suggested making the Skid Row outreach an official church ministry, which would mean more funding and resources.

Today, the Skid Row Ministry at St. Martin de Porres is well organized, runs smoothly and efficiently and gives parishioners the opportunity to witness the hardships and struggles of life on the streets, O’Shea said.

The ministry is a two-day operation, making trips to Skid Row about every six weeks.

On one Saturday in October, between 50 and 100 volunteers met at the parish hall and organized items that would then be delivered to Skid Row on Sunday.

One group folded clothes and arranged shirts, jackets and other clothing items by type and size.

Volunteers made sandwiches and prepared hygiene kits.

“We’re making a little bit of a difference,” said O’Shea, as items were being boxed and ready to be delivered the next morning. “What you see here will be enough for about 240 people….”

The above comes from a Nov. 23 story in OC Catholic.