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The Real Miracle Is, We're Still Here!
The story of The Relief Bus is one of divine guidance, pure guts and God's provision. Through many challenges and trials, this organization and staff was put to the test. Out of each fiery trial, another miracle manifested and the miracles keep on coming to this day. Today, the organization is going strong and moving forward to expand it's impact on inner city communititeis throughout the New York City metro area.
The Relief Bus story began back inthe 1980's with a successful entrepreneur living in Dallas, Texas. Richard Galloway did not know how dramatically his life would change when he read Isaiah 58:6-12 and was challenged by God's concern for the poor and oppressed.
One day shortly after reading the passage and being so challenged with the vision to do something to reach out to the poor and homeless, Richard called Alastair Geddes. Alastair was the President of Christ for the Nations Bible Institute on Long Island. Alastair offered him an old school bus and invited Richard to come and lead a mobile outreach. Richard and Dixie came to visit and bravely decided to take on the challenge of converting the bus to serve the homeless in New York City. They decided to call the new organization New York City Relief.
Within a month, the Galloways left Texas and made the move to New York to follow a dream. There was no funding for the organization, no salary for Richard to draw to supoort his family...... only a vision and a few audacious people committed to making it a reality. To view a video of Richard telling his story click here.
The Vision Becomes a Reality
The Relief Bus began it's operations in February 1989, using donated office space. The Galloways mobilized a team of volunteers and spent hundreds of hours converting a 1971 GMC bus into a mobile resource center to serve the homeless. The Relief Bus hit the streets on January 17,1990 and has been faithfully reaching out ever since. Staff members raise a large portion of their own financial support and the organization is funded through the generosity of private donors.
The Relief Bus was recognized by former President Bush in 1992 as one of the Thousand Points of Light. The Relief Bus has also been recognized by Toyota, the New York Mets, featured in a Public Service Announcement aired on the local ABC affiliate, and featured on both Channel 2 and Channel 9 in New York City. The Relief Bus has been heralded by the New York City Council, "as a vital provier of help and guidance to thousands of our city's homeless..."
After ten years of outreach, in 2002 a second bus was launched, virtually doubling the number of outreaches each week. In 2003 we began a Friday night outreach to Newark, NJ and in 2008 we began a Saturday night outreach to Paterson, NJ with local churches adopting outreach locations that they staff and fund.
In 2001, a new facility was purchased for us, adjacent to the original building. In 2007 construction on a beautiful new kitchen, and outreach team offices was completed to serve The Relief Bus.
September 2011 marked the opening of the newly renovated Relief Base! The base can accomodate teams of up to 24 people who want to come stay and minister on The Relief Bus.