Meet Debrah Nickerson | Executive Director/CEO

We had the good fortune of connecting with Debrah Nickerson and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Debrah, how does your business help the community?

My business FORT WORTH FIVE LOAVES and TWO FISH OUTREACH is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that primarily focuses on homeless outreach. Our ministry is based on Mark: 6 41 where Jesus fed the masses with only five loaves of bread and two pieces of fish. November 4, 2008, in a worship moment laying prostrate before God, I received and answered a call from the Lord, the spirit of the Lord spoke to me saying “go feed my people”. I heard the call and said to the Lord, “ I don’t have money to feed people” on that level. I went to work the next day and solicited help, from coworkers Mary Savage, Sonya Savage, Taiesha Jefferson and ex co worker Mike Dailey. My very own dream team. We fed together along with countless of volunteers bi-weekly then reduced to once a month on the streets and in a community park near homeless shelters for over 11 years serving about 300 people monthly, until Covid hit. When Covid hit the dream team dissolved but the need increased and a new team was created to serve weekly instead of monthly.

What makes us different is we go where the need is, bringing resources, supplies, food, hygiene to the people in need.  We believe that if we meet people where they are, providing them with nourishment, daily essentials, spiritual guidance, resources to mental health professionals, and housing opportunities that they are more apt to accept change.  We are here to help the unsheltered and those in need to get off the streets and live a normal life, regaining self confidence and self esteem, building independent lives free from addiction but yet dependent on the LORD JESUS CHRIST. If it had not been for the Lord Jesus Christ, God’s provisions and the guidance of the Holy Spirit none of this would be possible.

In addition to homeless outreach, we are known for our annual COMMUNITY  Christmas Giveaway for children of impoverished families or families in need. Our annual Christmas giveaway is held in different low income neighborhoods each year. We collaborate with multiple organizations, ministries, car clubs, social clubs and more. Last year we provided 280 children with a minimum of 5-6 toys each, a coat and school supplies. A bag of groceries and a gift were provided for the parents.

Year around we help families in need and newly sheltered individuals with furniture, food, clothing, transportation and household supplies.

We are impacting the community by being a support system that our homeless community, newly housed and low income families can depend on. Most of the homeless communities are primarily composed of campers: individuals that live in tents. We are consistent, prayerful, ready to listen, ready to provide assistance to resources that will improve lifestyles, health, mental and spiritual healing.

Weekly we hit the streets where the homeless are, in camps, in parks, in wooded areas, fields, along streets, under bridges providing them a hot meal, as well as a survival kit filled with food aka groceries to last a few days and a hydration kit filled with bottled water and assorted drinks. Doing this we enable the, to sustain themselves and extend life. Often times we would meet campers who had not eaten in days or had a drink of water which could lead to sickness or death, not on my watch.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?

My career is in the telecommunications field for a large commutations provider. Even though I work 40 hours a week. I spend a lot of my free time, in the trenches, providing for homeless, researching resources, supplies for their daily needs. It’s my goal to one day work full time in my very own warehouse, resource center with food pantry for the homeless and those in need.

We have endured challenges and opposition both in the physical realm as well as spiritual. The Bible teaches us that we are over comers and that our weapons are not carnal but mighty through the pulling down of strong holds. We overcome challenges with prayer and holding fast to the hem of Jesus Christ.

Our biggest challenges are simple finances with the type of provisions that we provide. In addition to providing resources, we try to bring joy, hope and maintain our unsheltered  friends dignity. This is why you will see limited pictures and videos of our unsheltered friends and never publicly share camp locations. Our outreach may take us into wooded areas, secluded areas that may contain individuals who have not seen or been in touch with family in years, some are newly released from prison, mental health facilities and do not wish to publicized.

Our unsheltered friends have grown to depend on us for daily essentials, groceries to help them sustain themselves for a few days in between visits because of that we are able to bring the name of The Lord before them reminding them that He loves them and is their Provider.

Our weekly Outreach is different than most as our homeless friends will leave our presence differently than when they came. We minister to them in prayer, we provide one on one mentorship, counseling and about 10lbs of food, hygiene, water and clothing. We give updates on housing, schedule appointments with resources who can come to them during the week, as well as schedule to pick them up for needed resources grocery trips, work etc. One of the biggest difference in our feedings/outreach is each individual will leave our presence knowing God has provided. Our friends will leave with a survival kit which is a reusable tote bag filled with non perishables for 3 days and hygiene products, plus a hydration kit which is another reusable grocery bag filled with 10 plus bottles of water, and assorted drinks such Gatorade, soda, juice etc. Recently a new ministry, Project Addullam Ministries started joining us on our weekly outreach providing our friends with gently used clothing. So now in addition to our survival kit, hydration kit and hot meal, our friends can walk away with fresh clothing. We have partnered for years with an organization PHILLIPS WISH who provides us with brand new clothing in bulk amounts, gently used clothing, new and used blankets, brand new sleeping bags as well. This last year we were able to provide tents to an entire homeless camp of about 100 due to the generosity of Community Praise Center Church and Co Pastor Yolanda Butler.

We are able provide tents, blankets, flashlights, batteries, cooking supplies, and inspirational materials to our friends through out the week and weekly basis.

Holidays are always filled with fun. Mother’s Day is a big holiday, we distribute gift bags filled with new clothes, make up, shoes and other items to boost the ladies confidence. Father’s Day is celebrated with a big fish fry on the camp grounds.

All of our endeavors providing for the unsheltered, families and children are done without government assistance or grants. Our busy lifestyles has very little time for self care etc. so we are in desperate need of a grant writer who can assist within our budget as we are mostly a self supporting organization. Thanks to our donors we are able to make an impact in the city that most wouldn’t dare to attempt even with funds. We love our unsheltered friends and believe that God has something in store for each and every one of them. God is able to deliver, house and set them free from bondage.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?

My favorite place in the city is TOP GOLF, I love to play golf there. Food is my passion, I love to eat at Ruth Chris Steakhouse, and KINCAIDS BURGERS.

Our success is in building up Jesus Christ to our friends. Several of our unsheltered friends will volunteer on Sundays with us. Some who have come sheltered come back to volunteer as well.

I visit them in the hospital when they are hospitalized, I visit them when they are jailed. Most of our friends have no family that are supportive and I let them know that Jesus cared enough to send support.

It’s great to get a thank you, but even when we do not, we know that we are in God’s plan and that they see God in our actions and in the end will give God praises for what He blesses them with through us.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?

I would like to give a shout out to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, my sisters Vickie Jones and Donna Watkins who have been instrumental during the last 16 months in ensuring that we are able to serve weekly. Vickie pays weekly out of pocket to keep our campers stocked with staples such as rice, oats, instant oatmeal and sugar.

Often Sundays it has been just the 3 of us hitting the streets, going into dangerous wooded areas to ensure that needs are met with food and water and supplies.

We are grateful to an organization in Fort Worth that helps to keep us stocked with sleeping bags, winter coats, winter gear, hygiene and more.
Phillips Wish

Last but not least, I would like to acknowledge my board members Mary and Sonya Savage who started with me and did most of our cooking for over 10 years. Mercedes Rojas another board member who loves the people and has moved away but still helps out tremendously..

Website: www.fortworthfiveloavesandtwofishoutreach.org

Instagram: https://instagram.com/fwfiveloaves2?r=nametag

Twitter: @Fwfiveloaves2

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FortWorthFiveloavesandtwofishoutreach/

Youtube: https://www.facebook.com/FortWorthFiveloavesandtwofishoutreach/

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