Patriot Movement Arizona Reaches Out To Homeless Community

Published: Saturday, March 31, 2018 - 4:00pm
Updated: Saturday, March 31, 2018 - 4:24pm
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(Photo by Bridget Dowd - KJZZ)
Members of the Patriot Movement Arizona pulled up to Civic Space Park with car loads of donations on Saturday, March 31. They set up tables of food, water, toiletries and clothing to give to homeless people in Downtown Phoenix.

While many people spend Easter at home with family and friends, some are not so fortunate. One group in Phoenix decided to help those in need over the holiday weekend.

The Patriot Movement Arizona is known for its Make America Great Again events and for being vocal at political rallies. But, on Saturday the mission was a bit different. Members like Eric Smaltz set up tables of food, water, toiletries and clothing to give to homeless people in Downtown Phoenix.

 “A lot of these individuals, unfortunately because of the circumstances have lost all their relationships,” Smaltz said. “The only relationship they have is their dog. So we reached out, we talked to people. We’ve got dog food here for those dogs.”

Lesa Antone is the group’s founder. She and other organizers pulled up to Civic Space Park with car loads of donations.

"We had a Trump rally a couple weeks ago and we asked for donations and this is what we got,” Antone said. “It’s important to get out and give back. I hope to let people know that they’re not forgotten, that they are important members of our community and that they matter. No matter what their life circumstance is, they matter.”

Penny Pippaton was one of those in need who came to collect supplies. She was given a blanket, some clothes and plenty of food to take with her. She said it was a nice change from how she is usually treated by people who pass her on the street.

“They’re treating us like animals,” Pippaton said. “We don’t like to be like animals. We love ourselves. We’ve got to have our respect. People don’t know what respect is. They treat us like a piece of dirt on the ground. I don’t like it.”

Smaltz said the group’s efforts won’t stop here and they’ll continue to organize similar events in the future.

“The city has gone out to a lot of the churches and asked them to stop feeding the homeless, as if the homeless were pigeons that will go away if we don’t feed them,” Smaltz said. “We’re very fortunate to have a house to go to tonight. These individuals don’t.”

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