Wednesday Night Dinner at the Elm Street Mission in Santa Cruz

The Elm Street Mission, “a non-profit church that works with homeless men and women to show them the love of Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit,” is located in downtown Santa Cruz next to a record shop, art gallery, café, spa, metro center, night club and some housing. On the Elm Street Mission blog, Pastor Ben Palm writes that the church provides between 4,000 and 5,000 meals each month, and in an August 2006 interview with Laura Mattingly, he said approximately 75% of the recipients are homeless.

Dinners are served starting at 6pm every Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Cooked meals and clothing are provided to people in exchange for the little green ticket they receive after roughly 45 minutes of Christian evangelism and indoctrination. As a Church, the Elm Street Mission believes they are helping to enable homeless people to kick drugs and alcohol and all other addictions. Pastor Ben Palm proudly states, “We feed, clothe, and pray with them, as well as show them the power in the word of God. Many lives have been changed in the last 37 years and many more will be changed in the future.”

The Elm Street Mission is located on Elm Street between Pacific Avenue and Cedar Street in downtown Santa Cruz, and just a block away from the Wednesday drum circle and Santa Cruz Farmers Market. All of these photos were taken on Wednesday, January 30th. This is the same day that a Santa Cruz police officer was caught covertly filming the weekly drum circle and Food Not Bombs; the sharing of free vegetarian food in protest of war and poverty.

Crossposted at Indybay.org.

Author: Bradley Allen

Bradley Allen is a reporter and photographer in the Monterey Bay Area, and a collective member of the San Francisco Bay Area Independent Media Center (Indybay). Follow him on social media: @BradleySA.