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By Rachel Williams

Video:  interview with homeless woman Lorraine Leighton

June 23, 2017 (El Cajon) -- Lorraine Leighton was among hundreds of homeless people who connected at Rock Church in El Cajon on June 2nd. More than 30 organizations offered health care and legal services for rebuilding a healthy, safe life.

Project Homeless Connect is a nationwide initiative to break the cycle of poverty, domestic violence and homelessness.

Leighton says she doesn’t drink, steal or do drugs. A series of unfortunate events landed her on the streets, such as a bus accident and an unlivable condo in El Cajon.

“The biggest struggle for me is watching and wondering why people that need the help don’t wanna get the help that cause a scene, or they don’t want to pick up after themselves and leave a trashy mess, or defies all the laws that are out there,” Leighton said.

According to Leighton, her accident occurred on St. Patrick’s Day in 2008. The bus was heading down bustling Palm avenue, and as the streetlight changed the bus driver slammed on her brakes, tossing Leighton down the aisle inches from a fare box. In 2014, Leighton started living on the streets.

The homeless services ministry at Rock Church empowers through a no street food service policy.

Project Homeless Connect returned this year to help the homeless, after civil unrest in El Cajon following the police shooting of Alfred Olango forced cancellation of the event last year.

To help people in need, like Leighton, you can volunteer by taking the service opportunities survey at

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