Thank you for your support and prayers for our ministry. You are a big reason we can and do exist. Together, we are making a difference.
I hear about housing programs that are being introduced in our area that will move homeless off the streets into their own “tiny home” area. I know this is a good idea. I have seen it work – only with proper supervision and guidelines. As always, the question is where to put it and who will help oversee such a project? I have started a dozen such communities around the country and some are still working well, while others failed due to miss-management. Homelessness will never go away. Homelessness is a complex situation and each individual is as unique as the problem he or she faces. Until we work on mental illness and drug addiction, the problem will continue to get worse no matter where we house them.
In our homes, one of our on-going struggles is to find the balance of care and encouragement for growth that moves people out of “homeless mindset”. That mindset is one of low self-esteem, entitlement, feeling of being overwhelmed and no sense of hope. I don’t think we are doing a perfect job at motivating change, but I do know for many, it is working. In the last week we had two parole agents call us to thank us for working with their clients and said, “they have never believed the change they see in them”.
This week three of our men have found great jobs. Almost all our men are saving money and have plans to “move on” which makes us very happy.
A few of our men are facing serious medical situations and our homes are a place of safety and healing. I get calls weekly from hospitals or medical centers that need to find housing for an individual who needs a place to heal. Most of them were homeless individuals who needed medical care for one reason or another. I would love to be that place, however, that is not what our facilities are designed for. If the person is able to take care of himself and is willing to live in an environment of accountability and we have room – we will take them. And have.
Today I will be building a wall to add one more bed in our dorm. Little by little it is coming along. I will be counseling one of our men who has developed a “hoarding” issue. (Actually, many of our homeless friends struggle with hoarding.) Another man is fighting with depression and hopelessness. Another has blown up, yet another microwave. He can’t understand you cannot put metal or foil in a microwave. He didn’t have one for 20 plus years on the streets.
The work goes on.
Praying for continued financial support.