Betty's Blue Angel

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Betty's Mission

At the core of Betty Chinn's mission to care for the homeless are her stops at the parking lot of St. Vincent de Paul's dining facility. There, twice a day, seven days a week and nearly 365 days a year, Betty serves a meal and a hot cup of coffee to up to 200 people. Some are homeless. Some aren't. But like so many, at the end of the month, they find their pockets empty and their cupboards bare. But Betty's mission extends far beyond food as she gives out shoes, socks, clothes, jackets, hats, gloves, blankets, hygiene products, phone cards, care packages, and generally whatever is needed.

When it gets frosty cold at night, she makes extra trips. Sometimes, when it's really cold, she drives down to where she knows people are sleeping outside and lets them sit in the car while she blasts the heater. Or, she rents out hotel rooms for people to share. When it's raining, she makes extra trips to give out ponchos and dry socks. She can do all this because she anticipates their needs, knows them and has won their trust through her relentless consistency and genuine kindness and concern.

Betty Receiving her Minerva award
Betty Receiving her Minerva award
at The Women's Conference
Long Beach, California
October 22, 2008

(AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)
Betty receives a check for $250 from a local Brownie troop, March 26, 2009
Betty receives a check for $250
from a local Brownie troop,
Eureka, California
March 26, 2009

(Photo by Tina Beideman)