Helping the homeless: Car wash benefits Giving Backpacks program - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Helping the homeless: Car wash benefits Giving Backpacks program

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SPOKANE, Wash. -

In the back parking lot of Zips at Division and Hawthorne, Rick Clark hosted a car wash Sunday to help the homeless.

"(I) just (wanted to) show some of the people that need love the most there's a community out there that cares about them," said Clark.

Even with a car wash company right next door, the cars kept rolling in.

"It hasn't affected anything we've been non stop busy since we started," said Clark.

He even used Facebook to petition people to come, and it worked.

"I was working on other cars at home," said Dan Martin. "I briefly went on Facebook and saw that you guys were doing this today," said Martin. "Thought, 'Hey it needs to be done.'"

Clark raised $188 in 1.5 hours. The money goes to his program Giving Backpacks. In the program, Clark and his friends drive around Spokane and give away backpacks filled with small comforts for the homeless.

"Yesterday we handed out our 560th backpack just full of clothes, toiletries and food. Stuff that isn't really worth anything, but to them it's worth everything," said Clark.

Recent data shows the number of homeless people in Spokane has gone down. In January 2016, the city of Spokane did a one night count of homeless people and found 981 people. That's down 5 percent from last year, when the count was 1,034.

Clark knows the number of homeless people in Spokane has gone down, but he hopes the number of people who can help them goes up.

"In numbers we can do so many better things," said Clark. "When the community steps up and treat each other like each other, big things can start changing and homelessness is part of that."

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