A community block party was held on Saturday in downtown Oklahoma City to help those in need.
Jesus House of Oklahoma City held the block party to kick off its Adopt-A-Block outreach. The program was started in 2012 to help low income households in northwest Oklahoma City.
"Adopt-A-Block is an outreach designed to seek out people from low income households who we can help in our immediate area by building relationships in our very own community," said Rick Denny, Jesus House President and CEO. "Our block party is designed to bring the community together for fellowship and to help us meet our neighbors in need."
The "2nd Annual Adopt-A-Block Kickoff Party," targeted the neighborhoods surrounding Jesus House, known as Orchard Park and Westlawn Gardens.
"It's probably one of the lowest income neighborhoods in Oklahoma City," said Pastor Vernon Carter with OKC Metro House of Hope. "A lot of homeless people, since the downtown area has changed, everything has been pushed this direction. It's pretty depressed."
Carter should know because he lives here too. He started helping in the community nearly 20 years ago and decided to move here back in 1999.
"Rather than being just an outsider, this is my neighborhood," he said. "It gives you more pride, more desire to see things change then just coming in and taking a look then going home. This is home."
During the block party, neighbors received free food, shoes and clothing, door prizes and other items. There also was a children's entertainment area provided by Hillsdale Freewill Baptist College and several service and information booths staffed by area churches and social services organizations such as House of Hope, Tri Church OKC and Guiding Right.
The outreach will continue past Saturday. Throughout the year, Jesus House volunteers will go out into the community and offer help those in crisis with emergency food, clothing or furniture.