The John Street Bridge Project has been helping the homeless in Bridgeport for many many years.
The idea is that homeless people know they can go under the Route 8/Route 25 overpass (over John Street) in downtown Bridgeport to get clothes, supplies like soap and toothpaste, sometimes clothing, and on rare occasion, food. The time to go is on Sundays.
“This is particularly important toward the month’s end when food stamps tend to run out, or in cold weather,” said Joe Kaliko of Needs Clearing House, based in Greenwich.
Kaliko explained that Needs Clearing House recently learned of this project from a charity they partner with called Helping Hands Outreach.
The folks at Helping Hands Outreached asked Kaliko if NCH could help with food – namely pizza – which they knew NCH provides to many charities in Greenwich, Stamford, Norwalk and Bridgeport.
“We said yes!” Kaliko said. “We paid for the pizzas and worked with our partners Planet Pizza to get the pies under the John Street Bridge fresh and piping hot!”
It was a wonderful turnout for a cold day in January, and Kaliko estimated that about 200 people showed up for plain, sausage, pepperoni, onion and mushroom pizzas.
In all, 480 slices went in 20 minutes! In addition, several pies were also sent home to large families with kids.
US Senator Richard Blumenthal, Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim and Joe Kaliko of the NCH donned gloves and served the pizza to the crowd. “It was a great time for all! Hot food and warm smiles on a cold day,” Kaliko said.
The Needs Clearing House plans to repeat this event every third Sunday of the month, at no cost to the homeless.
Needs Clearing House and its partners provide free pizza monthly to Abilis, Kids in Crisis, River House in Cos Cob, The Bridgeport Rescue Mission, the Disability Resource Network and many needy individuals as well, across Fairfield County.