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12-year-old boy's mission is to feed the homeless in his city

Michigan has 100,000 homeless people, 20,000 of whom live in Detroit

DETROIT: He wishes he could do more. But for now, 12-year-old Robby Elmers will settle for feeding a line of homeless people snaked around a Detroit block every weekend.

Every weekend, Robby drives with his grandmother to the Tumaini Center, a homeless shelter, and sets up a table filled with foodkid
Every weekend, Robby drives with his grandmother to the Tumaini Center, a homeless shelter, and sets up a table filled with food

Three years ago, Robby lost his father. He first got a peek into the life of the homeless when he went with his grandmother to drop off clothes at a shelter when he was 8. Since that defining moment, Robby has been determined to help the homeless in the interim, and to eventually put an end to the issue.

Every Saturday or Sunday he drives with his grandmother to the Tumaini Center, a homeless shelter in Detroit, and sets up a table filled with hot dogs, potato salad and other filling treats for the area’s homeless to enjoy. “These are my friends,” Robby says. “It makes me feel good to be able to help.”

The do-gooder funds his mission by spending birthday and Christmas money on supplies. He gets some donations and help from his grandmother. Young Robby has given hope to a population that often feels overlooked. In Detroit, there are only enough shelter beds for about 1,900 of its 20,000 homeless people.

“It is amazing that a child so young would be out here shaking hands, talking to everyone and caring,” said Shauna Johnson, a homeless woman. “Robby is right out there in front.'

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