C.R.O.S.S offers social solutions
By Courtney Zetar
The Orange Leader
It’s a Saturday afternoon. The sun is going down, and on the corner of 10th and Burton Ave. in Orange, is a man in the front seat of his SUV.
He isn’t there to preach or give a lecture. Instead he is there to provide homeless or very low income people with some important products that they may need. Products like shampoo, soap, diapers, and feminine products. Who is this man? His name is Rev. Anthony Jackson of Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church.
As I walked up to his vehicle to talk to him about his most challenging project, he greeted me with a smile and a hand shake as usual. I asked him about this program entitled Community Resources Offering Social Solutions, or The C.R.O.S.S Program. This is something that deeply moves him.
“C.R.O.S.S is something that will provide people with the resources and opportunities they need to not just be helped, but to also help themselves,” Jackson said.
Reverend Jackson doesn’t take the credit for this program nor his guidance.
“It was in 2001 that God and our Pastor leader Dr. C.W Crawford, gave me the insight and knowledge to become who I am today,” Jackson said.
From that time until now, he has worked countless days and nights trying to improve the lives of the people in his community. The Outreach program has helped addicts and people in need of a second chance with an opportunity to better. The home school program has helped high school dropouts earn a real diploma. Working for others is Jackson’s passion and motivation in life.
Which brings me back to The C.R.O.S.S Program. This outstanding program is 100 percent non-profit. It has many branches that connect to the tree of help, which is rooted strongly in God. This program can provide help with Education, Legal Advice, Housing, Drug Rehabilitation, Spiritual Guidance, and Jackson’s most passionate part of the program Homelessness.
Jackson is currently in a battle to gain access to a building that can better serve this cause. He already provides shelter for many homeless people around the city of Orange.
“When I drive down MLK or Simmons Dr. and see someone sleeping in the cold under the overpass, I can’t just pass them up and do nothing about it,” Jackson said. Even though Rev. Jackson may not have much needed funding or resources to give them, he continues to find ways to help people provide for themselves.
Jackson gives all the glory to God and to the leaders who came before him. But to the people he has helped, he is just as important of a leader as his predecessors.
One homeless man was quoted as saying “If it wasn’t for God and Mr. Jackson I wouldn’t be here.”
Sounding just as profound as Rev. Jackson speaking of Dr. Crawford. So the cycle of greatness continues.