Photo by Brandon Aninipot.
Elder Preston B. Walker III has dedicated his life to serving as an ambassador for the homeless. He is 60 years old, a single Native American / Black American man who lives on the streets of Oakland. He encourages the people who walk by his place of housing every day. He was called by God to come back to the street and preach after living in residential housing for over three years.
Many people do not understand why he would choose to live on the streets. He says that someone who follows his path must have the spiritual heart to do this direct-action street ministry.
Everyone can’t do what he does.
There are so many reasons people become homeless. Natural disasters are one cause of homelessness. Hurricane Katrina proved that. Then, there are family situations that cause homelessness. Unemployment, gentrification, lack of education and victimization by unfair law enforcement also contribute to homelessness.
Another cause is the death of a loved-one, especially someone who was the primary bread-winner in the family. There are also a lot of homeless veterans who have been cast aside by the system.
Elder Walker brings good cheer to everyone he meets. He says he loves all people as God loves them, showing them that he really cares about their souls. He humbles himself and embraces them where they live.
Everyone has the same needs – they all need to be loved by someone. They also need others to talk to and socially interact with. This is the basis of his street ministry.
“I don’t know what God has planned of me, but I’m in a very joyful spirit every day I wake up in the morning, thanking Him for another day to give Him the Glory,” says Elder Walker.