3/4/09...Who can deny the power of Oprah, even in a sinking economy?

Not the folks at Loaves & Fishes and St. John's shelter for women and
children, two local agencies featured in Oprah Winfrey's program last
week about "the new faces" of homelessness.

The organizations have been inundated with donations and offers of
help from across the country since the program aired last Wednesday,
officials said.

"We have had contact with people from Florida to Texas," said Sister
Libby Fernandez, executive director of Loaves & Fishes, which offers
meals and various other services to homeless people in Sacramento,
California. "They are asking, 'How can we help?'"

Many of the callers and mailers were shocked by the program's
depiction of a sprawling tent city near the Blue Diamond almond
factory, where hundreds of people sleep every night, Fernandez said.
"We received two pallets worth of brand new sleeping bags and tents,"
she said. The agency will hand them out, as needed, to homeless
campers, she said.