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Dream inspires minister to take food, clothing and scripture to homeless campsites

<i>KPIX</i><br/>Jack Fliehmann loads bags of sandwiches
Jack Fliehmann loads bags of sandwiches

By Sharon Chin

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    CONCORD, California (KPIX) — A Concord man is devoting his retirement to creating what he calls a Love Revolution among the homeless in his community.

Jack Fliehmann rises at 2:30AM to make breakfast and lunch for about 50 homeless people around Concord.

He loads bags of sandwiches, snacks, and supplies for his daily route to more than two dozen campsites.

At Willow Pass Park, Fliehmann delivers to Bob Kraft in his tent and asks if he needs anything else to survive the cold evenings.

“You need any extra warmth for tomorrow?” Fliehmann asked.

Oh no, just in the morning,” Kraft responded.

Fliehmann also fully-charges a battery brick to power Kraft’s fan and phone.

His kindness inspires a string of praise.

“Good. Genuine. Loyal. Upbeat,” is how Kraft described Fliehmann.

He began his ministry in January 2020, after he had the same dream, two nights in a row.

“The Lord Jesus came to me in a dream and actually came up and said, ‘I want to get to know the homeless,’” he recalled.

So he looked for the unhoused, bought them food, and talked with them.

One recipient told him how much that meant.

“At the end of the time, he said, ‘The food doesn’t really matter. You’re the first person who looked me in the eye today and treated me like a human being,’” Fliehmann remembered.

He forges friendships as he gives away donations of clothes, blankets, tents and toiletries stored in a room at his house.

For encouragement, Fliehmann reads Bible verses that his wife has hand-copied. She has written down tens of thousands of them that he’s given away.

He read one verse to a homeless woman at the entrance to the park.

“Just as a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on all those who fear him,” he read. She thanked him for the Scripture reading.

Rudy Carranza, his wife, Maria, and their 12-year-old son, Victor, cannot thank Fliehmann enough.

Fliehmann and his friends have helped the family pay for a hotel room and food in Martinez, after he found them sleeping on church steps, a month ago, seeking to meet him and request assistance.

The family’s now getting back on their feet.

“He’s always calling us, texting us, letting us know he’s there for us, that we’re loved and not alone,” Carranza said.

One of Fliehmann’s friends, Wayne Calhoon, even made arrangements with his employer that allows him to drive Victor to school in a limousine to make the family feel special.

“He’s like an angel sent from God,” Carranza said of Fliehmann.

Fliehmann simply wants to make homeless folks feel known, loved, and not alone.

“They make me feel alive. They are my friends,” he said of the treasured relationships.

So for serving Concord-area homeless people with love and friendship, this week’s Jefferson Award in the Bay Area goes to Jack Fliehmann.

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