Small Eau Claire group hopes to connect with the city’s homeless

Published: Nov. 16, 2023 at 9:44 PM CST
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - With Winter around the corner, a small faith-based group hopes to help prepare Eau Claire’s homeless for the incoming cold weather.

“So on Thursday nights, we just kind of walk through the downtown and we have these care packages that you see behind me here. There’s some food in there, there’s gloves, there’s hats,” said Nick Bartholomew.

He and his wife Stephanie founded Ignite Prayer & Music.

Members wish to connect with the city’s vulnerable.

“Forming relationships and talking with the folks and getting to know them and praying with them. Giving a little hope and showing that we care about the people that are on the streets in our city of Eau Claire,” said Bartholomew.

Since the summer, the group has been offering a helping hand.

They also get together on Sundays for song and prayer.

“Part of that when we got the vision for that was the Lord told us we need to be on the streets too. And encountering the lost and broken and homeless of Eau Claire. Part of that mission, too, is to get the homeless to come, inviting them into that setting too,” said Bartholomew.

He said the group knows they cannot end homelessness themselves, or even try to.

What they could do however, he said, is remember that the homeless are people as well.

“It’s so easy to drive past and not stop and have those conversations with some of the people that are in the downtown who are struggling. One of the last things I think in society in general is just loving your neighbor,” said Bartholomew.

He also said to always remember homelessness is not a far away reality for us either.

“We’re all just one or two decisions away from being down here as well. So we can’t forget that either,” said Bartholomew.

He said the group could always use more volunteers. You do not have to be a part of the group either to join in on the efforts to help and connect with the city’s homeless.

Here is a link to their Facebook if you would like to connect with Ignite Prayer & Music.