January 12, 2015

On the Streets in Winter

This time of year, with temperatures dropping and winter weather settling in, I feel a deep sense of urgency to help people get off the streets.

I bet you feel it too — even if you don’t realize it. It’s the chill that cuts through your jacket when you get out of the car. The icy blast that hits your face when you step out to get the paper. The fog of your breath in the cold, wet air.

You shiver, rub your hands together and hurry back inside.

I’m so thankful to have a job, a car with a heater, proper winter clothing and a safe, warm home. But it can be easy to take those things for granted. The chill reminds us that we can’t.

Angela* knows this all too well.

“I never thought I would end up where I ended up,” she says, remembering the three homes she owned, and being employed at Providence Hospital for 25 years.

“I used to drive by here and I would see people hanging by the dumpster and I’d think, ‘those poor people, I’d hate to be like that.’ But I ended up like that.”

Angela knows just how dangerous life on the streets can be — especially during the coldest months of the year.

“Last winter I was living in an alley behind a dumpster, in the freezing cold weather,” she says. “It was cold. REALLY cold.”

Thanks to friends like you, Angela was able to get the help she needed at the Mission. She’s rebuilding her life and even has dreams of going back to school. Her story reminds us that we never know where we will end up. We never know if one day we will be the one who needs help.

If you or I were on the streets, I know we’d want someone to help us as quickly as possible. Especially in winter weather like this.

So this winter, as you go about your day, let the chill in the air remind you of how blessed you are. Thank God for His provision and then consider how you can share His love and blessings with those in need.

*Name changed for privacy.