Vincent Vidriales noticed Ricka Davis-Sheard giving attention to the people who needed it most. Ricka befriended many in the area who couldn’t go out shopping for their meals, didn’t have a comfy bed to ease into at night, and nowhere to go for simple life necessities like a warm shower. She ministered to them by providing food and a listening ear. Vincent was there doing the same. He felt drawn to helping those living on the streets and knew there was more he could do. He thought maybe he and Ricka should join forces–and that was the genesis of the SHARE Community.
Vincent and Ricka formed the SHARE Community in 2019 in order to share hope, abundance, resources, and encouragement with members of the community who have needs but lack resources. They join them with organizations who can better serve them, elevating their lives and putting them on a path to make them whole. Vincent says, “It takes a long time to gain our guests’ trust. We know many by name now. They enjoy talking and will talk to you for hours. They just want to be heard.” Vincent’s vision for each unhoused person he encounters is one that became a reality for his own father. “My father had a hard time; he was on the streets around Lake Merritt for many years. He had a gentleman who took an interest in him, and every day for three years he would ask him, ‘John, you ready yet?’ to which my dad would reply ‘no,’ until one day when he finally said yes. From that point, he was brought under a canopy of care that included experiencing unity, job placement assistance, and eventually gaining his own apartment. That’s the template I see that works. It can’t work until the person is ready, but when they are, I want to be there for them to make the connections they need to be successful.