Operation Frontlines: Helping the Homeless

 Ann Hernandez

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Chicago Streets.jpg

People walk on the streets of Chicago, where homelessness is a large problem. Photo by Shannon Tuggle.

Somewhere out in the cold someone is hungry, someone is crying, and someone is searching the streets for money and food. Individuals crowd the streets with instruments and old restaurant cups in hopes of receiving spare change. The polluted smell of the city and old fast food wrappers blow through the wind only moments later hitting the black, wheel-stained road into what we know as reality.

One woman has seen it all, Theresa Reid-Boyd, not only believes her answers come from god, but also claims that the homeless don’t deserve to be out on the street. Reid-Boyd has worked on projects with churches and on her own to start a project called Operation Frontlines.

Operation Frontlines is a new mission. They plan to give, not just to homeless people, but to pay it forward in different ways. Some things the members plan to do are: give supplies to people in the cold, give gift cards, and supply blankets to people who need them.

Reid-Boyd gives charity to the undernourished citizens that take shelter in the streets and sleep on the cold concrete. She has handed out blankets, food, and multiple other necessities like toothbrushes and clothing items.

When Reid-Boyd was little she lived in Hamilton with her parents. They stayed in the same area but kept moving from house to house around the town.

“When we grew up, we didn’t have very much of anything, and there were times where we were basically homeless but family would take us in. There were times where we would get evicted from one place and end up having to move to another place. We weren’t technically homeless, but we were always like, right on the border of it, and there really wasn’t a lot of people who reached out to us. I know what it feels like not to have things,” Reid-Boyd states about her childhood.

Despite the fact that Reid-Boyd had a hard childhood she still has a very giving attitude.

Recently, out in the streets of Hamilton a couple of individuals have stuck out to Reid-Boyd: a woman named Cesarean, and a young homeless couple who wished not to share their names. Cesarean lives at a hotel and has been there since April. She has three children and she is blind. Theresa made a couple visits to give her food. As for the couple, they have been out on the streets for a while. While living on the streets they were supplied with a bike.

“The orange bengal bus has been giving out food to the homeless, and trying to supply whatever they can to help out with what we claimed as tent city. People have also been huddling around restaurants late at night to try and get anything they can to eat and are taking any charity they can get,” The young man told the Knight Times.

Homeless individuals may have somewhere to stay but the locations are not their permanent homes, according to Shelterhouse about 44,728 people in Ohio are or were experiencing homeless in the last three years.

Reid-Boyd has done a lot of things for people out of kindness and only wants to share her compassion.

“We step outside of what we need and we go out there to the streets because no matter what we need we still have a roof over our head. We still have food in our bellies and you know, we have a warm place to be when other people are out there on the streets and they don’t. It makes you feel good to know that you’re helping someone and I feel like the world is all about connecting with people.”