DENVER — More than 600 members of the homeless community gathered at Civic Center Park on Saturday for a hot meal and a whole lot more.
The barbecue was sponsored by Brian Sanchez, who overcame his own adversity to spread a message of hope.
"We're doing cheeseburgers, we have hamburgers, we have chips we have candy, we have water," Sanchez said.
He said he sponsored Saturday's BBQ for 600 members of Denver's homeless community as a way to give back. Volunteers helped serve food to the attendees.
"Our mission is pretty simple: to love and honor God, love and honor your neighbor, and love and honor yourself," he said.
Helping these people is a priceless feeling that no money can buy, he said.
"It's genuine, it's heartfelt, it's community," he said. "That's what Denver is all about."
Along with a hot meal, attendees also received a pair of new socks, a gesture greatly appreciated by Brian McClish, who is currently homeless.
"It's really cool — and a brand new pair of socks," McClish said. "You can always use a brand new pair of socks. Especially if you're homeless."
Sanchez runs the company Denver Apartment Finders, which is dedicated to finding housing for everyone, including homeless veterans, seniors and low-income families.
He started the company three years ago after being diagnosed with HIV.
"It's just a way to show people that you can have a terminal disease, you can live life to the fullest, you can give back to the community, and you can love and honor God at the same time," he said.
Sanchez said his health has improved tremendously over the past year. His goal now is to help everyone find affordable housing in Denver. That's music to the ears of Nick Murasaki, who is living in a shelter after Denver's skyrocketing rent priced him out of a home.
"I'm just thankful all of this is here... and people like this help out," he said. "Because if not, I'd be in a rough situation."
Sanchez put on the event with the help of volunteers from the Denver Community Church and Macedonia Baptist Church.
He said he hopes to make the BBQ an annual event.