A warm breeze wafts over the motley assortment of people and dogs trickling into the expansive clearing along the San Joaquin River. Some wander around sipping coffee while others snack from brown lunch bags marked with the Bible verse John 3:16 in black felt pen.
Arranged in neat rows, the meals consist of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, bananas, cookies, candy and chips.
A man sits on a picnic bench reading aloud from the book of Psalms.
“Be still and know that I am God,” he intones. “The God of Jacob is our refuge.”
Most here lack a physical sanctuary, so they’ve come for the hot showers that Ken Rickner trucks in every Saturday morning on his 16-foot trailer.