World View

A view to those out in the world into our life.

Monday, September 26, 2005

The Homeless and Katrina

The events of hurricane Katrina have helped open our nations eyes to the needs of the homeless people left in the wake of Katrina's disaster. But one question remains...what about the homeless who were in our own back yard's before Katrina. They have each had some disaster in their life that has lead them to where they are today. Some by their own choice, some not. But the fact still remains that they are there and what are we (you and I) doing about it?

I am hoping my community group will start to do something about it this fall. We are talking about taking a day each month and feeding them. I was told by a friend that when they asked a homeless person what is one thing they appreciate most, "a hot meal that is not pizza or sandwiches" was the answer. How easy is that?

I think that we can use the plight of the victims of Katrina to raise awareness of the homeless in our own towns.

37"Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?'

40"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'

7 Comments:

  • At 12:10 PM, Blogger EY said…

    well if your CG is interested in long term education about the homeless..i'm the education coordinator for seven hills and will be entering into school teaching awareness of homelessness to children K-12...starting this spring....and could use some help in program development.

    there are many more ways to help the issues of homelessness that goes beyond bare necessities of sustenance, clothing, and shelter. this helps obviously, but education to young generations will only lift up ppl who will be encouraged to serve in the future. not to mention awareness of the shelter also gets more ppl curious and willing to serve. have a think and get back to me.

     
  • At 2:14 PM, Blogger Mile20 said…

    Hey Jason:
    Good point about the homeless. Earlier this year a count was done in AR. Previous estimates were that we had 3000 homeless persons in AR. The count yielded 6000! Little Rock School District alone has 400 kids registered as homeless.

    They are the forgotten in our society.
    Mark

     
  • At 10:38 PM, Blogger jlo said…

    A thought our CG had was what if each month we had a different item designated for our body to bring to church each Sunday, such as tooth brushes/paste one month, underwear the next, and so on. We could probably make a difference in the supply at the homeless shelter each month. What if that spread to each church in town! There are definitely lots of unmet needs in communites with "strong" congregations. I think Jesus would be ashamed of us.

     
  • At 8:27 AM, Blogger Mile20 said…

    I have been going under the Broadway Bridge every Tuesday night to feed and love on the homeless. It has been one of the more transforming experiences. God seems to use my actions and practices to show me the way.

    As far as trying to mobilize people, that is the challenge. We have been trying to get some things going at Grace, but it is not easy. I was hoping for more of a grassroots type of thing, you know, people feeling a conviction from the Holy Spirit and taking the initiative. I have seen that happen under the bridge with individual people from different congregations and places but not much from Grace. I am afraid it will require some formal programming, which I am reluctant to do at this point in time. I am trying not to build a shrine.

    Last night, a guy probably in his mid 30's showed up under the bridge with some food and clothing. Joe, a friend of mine, had met him at UALR in the pool. As they talked, the guy admitted to him that he was thinking about killing himself. Joe told him that he needed to give of himself and think about others rather than being so focused on himself. The guy asked how and Joe told him about what was happening under the bridge. Last night, Joe said the guy looked totally different, and was smiling. Interesting.

     
  • At 10:58 AM, Anonymous Sonya said…

    Anything that you can do to help, either individually or as a group is great. Sustaining change, though, often must occur individually with multiple levels being addressed to meet needs. From one person to the next these needs might include mental illness, addiction, hunger, employment, housing, health, disabilities, previous convictions, estranged family, spiritual, transportation, and the list could continue on to include many more fundamental needs, all depending upon that particular person. In a lot of instances these needs are interdependent on each other, so it's important to address them all if possible instead of just one or two. A lot of times this requires getting the person connected with those that can give them this type of attention and has resources and referrals available for assistance. Otherwise it usually ends up as simply sustaining, which is the usual cycle we witness most of the time. Yanster's suggestion of educating younger generations is a great idea too. Breaking the cycle is so important. (Working with kids is so valuable in that aspect.) Again though, anything that you can do would be great.

     
  • At 9:32 PM, Blogger Mile20 said…

    We are just like the homeless. We both need money (they need $6 and we need $6000), food, shelter, love, belong, acceptance, to talk and be listened to, to make good decisions, to hear the truth.

    We have a lot to offer each other. I have learned some powerful things from the people I have met under the bridge.

     
  • At 5:40 AM, Blogger jlo said…

    I think one of the reasons we have so many poor people in this country and throughout the world is because we, as in the church, have focused too much on ourselves and not on the needs of others.

    A group of us have been talking about house churches lately and there is a lot of info suggesting there is about to be major shift to these in America.

    If you think about how much money each church in America spends on electrcity, water, gas, building mainenance, and mortgage each month, I bet you would almost have enough money to feed the entire world. That may be overshooting it, but we got some big churches in this country that have to be expensive just to keep the building heated/cooled. I am not knocking them, but just using it as an example of one way we as the church have spent our money on bricks and not people.

     

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