Reaching-Out Community Services kicks off mobile division once again

Everything old is new again.

On Saturday, April 2, Reaching-Out Community Services once again began its mobile food pantry that originated over 25 years ago. This program will provide hot meals and other aid to homeless persons all over Brooklyn.

Around 2:30 p.m., Thomas Neve, founder of Reaching-Out and others from the program, got in their van and traveled throughout the borough to areas such as Atlantic Avenue, Brighton Beach and Coney Island. According to Neve, “It went great for a first day.” He has since made flyers stating when and where the bus will be throughout the week to organize turnout better.

Neve created Reaching-Out in 1992, and started helping homeless people in 1989 with the purchase of a used van. With the help of friends, he installed a stove on the van and drove it around to provide food for those that needed it. Twenty-five years later, RCS has grown out of two facilities and now assists 6,500 families in 16 different zip codes with numerous different programs.

For the past 10 years though, Neve had to abandon the mobile program due to lack of funds as well as a crippled van. It was only a few months ago that he thought to bring back the program because of the exponentially growing number of homeless in the city.

Homelessness, noted Neve, has a stigma associated with it, with some people believing that those who are homeless are lazy and don’t want to work. However, he stressed, many of the people coming into the food pantry are, “Living out of vans, people who are working but are still one paycheck away from being in the streets that still need a helping hand.”

Asking for help from the community in purchasing a new van or bus as well as hands to work, Neve received promises of workers as well as a $30,000 grant from the Guru Krupa Foundation (GKF), a private foundation based out of New York State that works on social, educational and Religious/cultural charitable programs.

The purchased bus was transformed into a mobile food pantry and, for the time being, will travel once a week to a location to provide assistance. Neve plans to speak to local community representatives to learn which areas really need the help and says that, eventually, when the program has enough staff and another driver, he hopes to establish routes at least a couple times a week.

“We’re gonna take it one step at a time,” Neve noted. “Right now, if we can just be a friend to the homeless, I want to show there are people who care and can comfort them in their time of struggle.”

Neve also hopes to get young people involved with the program. He wants kids and teenagers to realize how fortunate they are. “Getting them out in the streets could be a great eye-opener and a learning experience,” he added.

For information on getting involved in this program or other RCS programs, email including name and phone number so they can contact you. For more information, go to

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.