On August 21st 99 for the 1, the mobile homeless outreach ministry lead by Jeremiah and Rachel Fjeld made a huge announcement: they are headed to Norfolk!
The nonprofit, known for it’s unique and colorful van currently riding around the streets of Virginia Beach helping those in need, posted a picture on their Facebook page announcing the expansion with a new, blank-canvas box truck.
Truck number two is ready to be painted by Troy Summerell (OnieTonie), the local artist who donated his talent by painting the first 99 for the 1 box truck. The second truck will have it’s own unique design and story behind it’s artwork that will be special to Norfolk.
The Fjeld’s knew early on that 99 for the 1 wasn’t going to be a nonprofit that only helps the homeless community in Virginia Beach. It took them a while to find another box truck, but once they did, they knew the next step was to get a team together to lead the expansion into Norfolk. Frank Lassen, Pastor of Source Church in Virginia Beach, will be leading the outreach efforts in Norfolk along with some dedicated volunteers.
Jeremiah has taken the Virginia Beach truck to Norfolk a few times to find a location to park the truck and explore the needs of the community.
“The first day we went out in Norfolk we saw over 30 homeless, which is huge,” Jeremiah told me. “Starting out in Virginia Beach it was really difficult for us to find the homeless. The first night we went out, we looked for hours and could only find one person. In Norfolk, the homeless community is overwhelming.”
The Fjeld’s have also noticed that in the few times they’ve been to Norfolk so far, there are more homeless women then they are used to seeing.
“It was unusual for us,” Jeremiah said. “Two out of the three showers we gave yesterday were to women. It was eye opening because life on the streets leaves you so vulnerable.”
Jeremiah and Rachel have now been helping the homeless community for about 7 months. They have a system, they know where to look and what to do when they get close to those in need within our neighborhoods. They have experienced a lot and plan to take all of the lessons they’ve learned and apply it to their Norfolk expansion.
The Fjeld’s are doing more than supplying the homeless communities with hygiene products and clothing. Jeremiah told me his Pastor often keeps him moving forward by reminding him that he’s doing good work — he’s going out there and he’s loving people right where they are at.
“I am planting a seed,” he said. “I am cultivating a relationship, I am building trust. I know their names, I come back and when I do they call me by my name. The men and women we meet tell me about their week and what’s happened since the last time I saw them. This opens a door for me to keep going deeper and helping in other ways they need besides food and clothing.”
“We are trying to be Christ in motion,” Rachel added to her husband’s explanation, a perfect summary of all that 99 for the 1 embodies.
The need for help is evident in Norfolk and 99 for the 1 is getting ready to paint their truck, load it up with supplies, love and faith to answer the call. 99 for the 1 relies on the help of selfless volunteers, monetary donations and material donations, all of which they are in need of. Visit 99forthe1.com to get involved!