ABC7 Star: Vallejo woman helps homeless people

VALLEJO, Calif. (KGO) -- ABC7 is recognizing residents in the Bay Area for their extraordinary achievements. This month's ABC7 Star is Maria Guevara. She is described as selfless, passionate and an absolute angel.

She's a paralegal by trade but has dedicated her life to bringing the people of Vallejo together to make the community a more loving place.

Even on the grayest of mornings, Guevera is like a ray of sunshine to everyone she meets. "You guys are so wonderful and we are so blessed to have you people here," one homeless woman said.

Every Friday, Maria and the navigators as they like to be called, make their way through the streets of Vallejo, searching for those in need of a good meal.

In eight years, she has never missed a delivery. To everyone involved, this is about much more than just lunch. It's about friendship.

"For them to give us this honor to be in their lives to me is a gift. So I am grateful," Guevera said.

However, this is just the beginning of something much bigger. Seven years ago, after rallying hundreds of volunteers, Guevera quietly started the group Vallejo Together.

Inside their tiny, non-descript, donated space, there is a myriad of services for more than 400 unique visitors a month:
There are computers to search for a job, always a hot meal, and someone to talk to.

Vallejo Together is not a handout, but a hand up. "It makes things easier. It makes you want to do better," a homeless woman named Lori Beale said.

Some of the staff members were even homeless at one point.

When Guevara was asked how she does it all, she simply said, "love explodes. That's how it works."

Vallejo Together's next challenge is finding a way to stay open 24 hours a day because the need is so great.

Guevara is hoping someone can donate a larger space, so she can serve more people and obtain non-profit status by the year 2020.

Click here to read about more ABC7 Stars where you live.
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