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Local church retrofits old bus to serve the homeless

The Community Compassionate Care Bus has a new mission and will give away necessities to the homeless in the area.

BRADENTON, Fla. — Pastor Steve Gibson had a new dream for his old bus. The 25-passenger bus belonging to First Church of the Nazarene was unfit to carry passengers long distances anymore.

That made it a perfect vessel to launch his new mission for the community.

“We needed to be more outward thinking and focused on the community needs,” the pastor said Tuesday, two days after unveiling his new Community Compassionate Care Bus following his Sunday service. “It’s a one-of-a-kind vehicle.”

The bus is wrapped in bright blue and green and holds must-have items. Clothes, toothbrushes, and more have been donated by the community. Many of the church members will volunteer to take the bus around Bradenton to serve the hundreds of homeless and in-need people there. 

“You just can’t go wrong when you do something like this and get the right people involved,” said Gibson, who has pastored FCNB for three years after spending over a decade in Michigan. “This is what Jesus did and we’re doing exactly what He did.”

Dr. Eastman periodontics, which has no affiliation with the church, has provided toothbrushes for the people who visit the bus. A nearby gas station will help offset fuel costs.

“This is as important or more important than what we do on Sunday mornings,” said Gibson. “The most important message we want to bring is you don’t have to lose your dignity because you’ve lost everything else.”

FCNB has another bus and intends to do something similar with that vehicle in the near future. The Community Compassionate Care Bus plans to venture out twice per week once COVID-19 cases die down.

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