The Delta Veterans Group help load the backpacks, sleeping bags, and boots they donated to SVdP to help people facing homelessness.

Amidst this winter’s chill, a heartwarming alliance between the Delta Veterans Group, St. Vincent de Paul of Contra Costa County (SVdP), and the Saints & Sinners Motorcycle Club brought warmth and hope to those experiencing homelessness in Contra Costa County. The Delta Veterans Group, veterans who served their country and are now serving their community, made an incredible donation of sleeping bags, water proof coverings, new boots, and backpacks to help the most vulnerable in our communities stay warm and dry.

J.R. Wilson, President of the Delta Veterans Group, was on hand with his son to help load the donations into SVdP’s delivery truck.
Wilson said, “It’s great to be able to give back to help people in need. That’s what the holiday is all about. We had our storage locker where the sleeping bags are stored broken into the other day, someone stole a few sleeping bags. But that’s why we’re doing this – there are people in need right now that we can help.”

SVdP collected and distributed the sleeping bags, covers, boots, and backpacks through their dedicated volunteers, reaching various homeless encampments across the county, including encampments in Antioch and Bethel Island.

SVdP Vincentian Services Manager Steve Krank said, “The Delta Veterans Group’s donation is an incredible gift, with a lot of foresight and awareness for the unsheltered in our community, going into the Holiday. It’s helping a lot of people already, we’re blessed to be able to help them distribute these sleeping bags.”

Volunteers involved in distributing the donations to the homeless encampments throughout Contra Costa included St. Vincent de Paul “Vincentian” volunteers and the Saints and Sinners Motorcycle Club. The Motorcycle Club is a local group of bikers committed to supporting individuals navigating addiction recovery.
This collaborative effort stands as a testament to the power of community and solidarity, providing crucial support and warmth to those enduring the hardships of homelessness during this holiday season.

Volunteers distributed the donation to their neighbors in need throughout the County.

SVdP and the Delta Veterans Group connected 14-years ago, shortly after Wilson J.R founded the Delta Veterans Group in 2012. Wilson founded the group upon returning home to Contra Costa County, after noticing an increase in homelessness among local Veterans.
J.R.Wilson was born in Concord, CA in 1971 and raised in Antioch and Pittsburg. At 17 years old, J.R. found himself homeless living on the streets of East Contra Costa County at night and working during the day before joining the U.S. Army.

J.R. served in the United States Army From 1990-1994, a life altering decision that would shape him into the man he is today. He served in the Military Intelligence Corps as a Non-communication interceptor/analyst (98J1P) with the 3rd Special Forces Group(A) at Ft. Bragg, NC from 1991-1993, where he was Airborne Qualified. J.R. also went overseas and served in the 102nd Military Intelligence Battalion, part of the 2nd Infantry Division in South Korea.
Upon founding the Delta Veterans Group, Wilson embarked on expanding Alameda County’s “Stand Down” event to Contra Costa. “Stand Down” Contra Costa debuted in 2015, and is a 4-day gathering of services and support for veterans experiencing homelessness. SVdP’s Steve Krank helped Wilson establish the “Stand Down” event in Contra Costa County, named “Stand Down on the Delta”. The event helps hundreds of veterans experiencing homelessness or those at-risk of becoming homeless connect with resources for housing, employment, health, education, recovery, and legal services.
St. Vincent de Paul of Contra Costa County has provided safety-net services in the county for over 59 years, serving 100,000 people annually and distributing over $1.9 million in direct financial assistance and over $3 million of in-kind aid. More than 700 SVdP volunteers and a small staff lead operations in Contra Costa including the SVdP Family Resource Center in Pittsburg, 28 branches, and 3 Thrift Stores. One of the largest charitable organizations in the world, St. Vincent de Paul is an international, nonprofit, Catholic lay organization of more than 900,000 men and women who voluntarily join together to grow spiritually by offering person-to-person service to the needy and suffering in 155 countries on five continents.