Every Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Washington Street in Hartford you'll find a street ministry born out of devotion to care and feed the city's homeless and hungry.
The Hope In Jesus Ministry was started six weeks ago by Jose Espinal, a 44-year-old taxi driver in Hartford, after he prayed for a way to show God's love to the city's most venerable residents.
“I want people to go there and receive our love,” said Espinal.
The majority of food and coffee served under the tent each Saturday is paid for by Espinal. He receives some food donations from volunteers who help man the tent, but the effort is Espinal's way of showing God's goodness and grace. Used clothing is also given away for those who need it.
“We can't just talk about the word of God in church. We have to do something more, give something back to help the people,” Espinal said.
Frankie Morales said the street ministry changed his life. Addicted to drugs and living on the streets, he stopped by the tent one morning a few weeks ago for a cup of coffee.
Morales said the ministry volunteers didn't judge him. Instead, they embraced him and invited him to church, where he's been going every since. He said he stopped doing drugs and the ministry has since helped him find a place to live.
“I was looking for a miracle to change my life,” he said.