May 18, 2015

Taking Homelessness Personally

No one chooses to be homeless. It’s not a decision they make. It’s something that happens to them. It’s like when you or I catch the flu — we don’t choose it. Yet I’m continually amazed how many people still think homelessness is caused mainly by alcoholism, drug addiction and laziness.

The reality of it is, those assumptions let us keep the hurting faces of homelessness at a distance. We can disassociate ourselves from their tragic situations, thinking that we will never be there. But the reality is, homelessness can happen to anyone.

In American today, 80% of adults – four out of five – will struggle with joblessness, poverty or reliance on welfare at some point in their lives. And if things don’t change soon, it’s only going to get worse. If the income gap between poor and middle class continues to widen, it’s estimated that by 2030, nearly 85% of working adults will face economic insecurity at least once.

With numbers like that, it’s impossible to believe that people choose to lose their jobs, their homes, and their livelihoods. Not when it happens to so many people. Even if you aren’t one of the four, I’m sure you know someone who is. Until we realize that — or until it’s our best friend, our mother or uncle who is homeless — we may not care as deeply.

But God calls us to help those in need! The Bible says this in 1 John 3:17:

“If someone has enough money to live well and sees a brother or sister in need but shows no compassion — how can God’s love be in that person?”

This is only one reference, but the Bible as a whole talks about helping people in need more times than I can count. That means showing kindness, compassion and generosity to those who are suffering is important to God. So, how do we make the things that are dear to the heart of God important to us?

By making it personal. By building relationships with our homeless neighbors. By praying for them and reaching out to them in meaningful, life-changing ways.

There are so many ways to make an impact in people’s lives. Reading this blog is a great start. Getting educated about homelessness is vital. We also appreciate when you help us spread the word on Facebook and other social media. If you haven’t “Liked” our page yet, why not do it right now?

A financial gift always helps as well. And we also have a variety of volunteer opportunities. I encourage you to prayerfully consider not only giving your money, but giving your time.

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Not only will you change lives, but you will be blessed and changed in the process. It doesn’t get much more personal than that!