BLUE ISLAND, Ill. (WLS) -- Armed with blankets and tents, John McClement's latest cause is helping the homeless men and women he sees everyday on his way to work as a Blue Island firefighter.
"I live a block from here, so I see these people every day," McClement said. "I try to help when I can. I give them coffee, I give them sweatshirts, so this is a chance to do something bigger."
McClement, his sister and two friends brought 10 tents. Each were quickly taken by men and women who call under the bridge at Cermak and Clark their home, including 64-year-old Maurice Stevenson. He has been living on the streets for five years.
"I appreciate it, we thank him," Stevenson said. "We all thank him."
The tents and supplies were paid for McClement's nonprofit called the Yard Foundation. It was born out of a satirical firefighter Facebook page that McClement started a few years ago.
"It's like an extension of the firehouse," McClement said. "Instead of having 30 guys, we now have 40,000 in our Facebook firehouse."
Following a firefighter fatality, the Facebook followers pooled together money to help the family. Soon, they were helping many more and the Yard Foundation was created.
"When there is a tragedy, all of us throwing $5 or $10, we've been able to donate all over the country," McClement said.
McClement's spirit of giving has branched out to other causes. He said helping the homeless is personal, since he sees the worst of it as a firefighter.
"Being a firefighter, we get called out to cold-related emergencies all the time," he said. "This seems like being proactive."
The Yard Foundation's work with the homeless isn't stopping at Clark and Cermak. The plan is to raise more money in December, so the foundation can distribute tents to homeless in other parts of the city in January.