MONTVILLE, NJ – On Sunday June 7, Towaco residents Anna and Mark Landgrebe unveiled their new Homeless Bus.
Homeless Bus is a charity organization started by Mark Landgrebe in 1992 to feed the homeless of Paterson, NJ and New York City. Now married to Anna, the family, with their son Mark, drive into Manhattan each Saturday night to provide hot meals and personal necessities to the homeless.
The couple was honored in February by the Steve Harvey Show and by the Montville Township Chamber of Commerce as “Organization of the Year” in March. (Read more HERE) When Harvey heard that their bus had broken down, he had the bus repaired and arranged for a company called ORS to donate $20,000 for aid but unfortunately it wasn’t enough to save the vehicle. The couple had to use their personal vehicle to feed 200 people for seven months.
“The bus had many issues but the worst thing was the smoke,” stated Anna. “It was smoking so badly I couldn't breathe inside the bus while feeding our homeless friends.”
Through donations from a GoGetFunding site, the couple was able to purchase a new bus which they received about three weeks ago, plus outfit it for its task.
“We ran ‘under the radar’ for 22 years, feeding the homeless with our own money,” stated Anna at the reveal ceremony. “In November of 2013, everything changed. Thanks to the involvement of Roberta Ginsberg, Christina Kim and Debbie Hasbrouck, we have ongoing support from our community.
“You have no idea how grateful we are for all your support. This is opening a new chapter for our organization – our new bus.”
Montville Township Mayor Scott Gallopo was also present for the reveal ceremony, and stated, “There was a community outreach, and the overwhelming response to this program has been staggering. The job you do every Saturday night is mind-blowing and really has an impact. I’m proud to call you my neighbors, and I know everyone else is as well. I’m thankful for the support the Landgrebes have been given and for their passion and dedication working with so many for so long. On behalf of the entire Township Committee, thank you for everything you’ve done, and we are very proud and humbled by your efforts.”
Church groups such as the First Presbyterian Church of West Caldwell have joined the Landgrebes on their runs, the Montville Township Schools have made donations of sandwiches and noodle soup cups, and this past Saturday night, the Montville Township Police Explorers joined the family.
“This community is awesome!” stated Anna.