Homeless

It started in 1986 when a woman on her way to work passed a homeless woman and decided to buy her a sandwich.  When that woman learned that here was homelessness even in her home community in New Jersey, she went beyond handing out sandwiches.

Her work lead to the formation of an interfaith hospitality network that involved churches and community resources to provide shelter, meals, assistance with finding work and housing.  The program grew and is now a national program known as Family Promise. In 1992, Family Promise (known then as the considerable less catchy National Interfaith Hospitality Network) was awarded one of 21 Points of Light by President and Barbara Bush.

The Family Promise Mission Statement is:

OUR MISSION IS TO HELP HOMELESS AND LOW-INCOME FAMILIES ACHIEVE SUSTAINABLE INDEPENDENCE THROUGH A COMMUNITY-BASED RESPONSE.

It is hard for me to believe that there are over 450 children just in and around Venice, Florida.  Eleven churches have committed to providing facilities, volunteers, and financial support so that Family Promise can help families of young children receive needed services to solve their homelessness in  meaningful ways.  Additional churches provide volunteers and financial support as well.

I am often skeptical about the whole subject of religion, but I have to say that there is something very beautiful about different churches working together on a common cause and in making their communities better places for all to live.volunteers

 

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8 thoughts on “Homeless

  1. An excellent organization. We have a church related organization that collects furniture and redistributes it to low income families. I felt bad in my recent cleaning out of my mother in law’s house, I put out a lot of furniture on the curb that was serviceable but less than appealing due to age or wear and tear. I learned about this organization and they told me that the need is great and they take any thing that was serviceable and clean. Looks don’t matter much.

    It is said that good works alone will not get one into the kingdom of heaven. Perhaps, but I doubt that theology alone will either.

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  2. When I belonged to a Catholic church, I volunteered to feed the homeless at a shelter down town. I got people at church to help with the cooking and serving and requested that the grocery store provide the ingredients for free. I did this twice and will never forget the experience.

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  3. My brother and sister-in-law devote their time and energy to helping the homeless in their large metropolitan area. They are busier in their retirement than when they were employed. I am proud of their efforts and try to support with financial gifts.

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  4. The families in the program have no obligation/expectation to attend religious services in this program. They spend the night, are provided dinner and a simple breakfast, and then either go to work/school or to the Family Promise Day Center.
    My hat is off to those who put faith into action by volunteering for programs such as this.

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  5. I love these situations where multiple churches cooperate on an issue like homelessness. I think the volunteers in those situations benefit tremendously by getting to know people in other faith communities. It’s a win-win for everybody. I do not approve though of forcing the homeless to set throw a worship service where a fire and brimstone preacher tries to save their souls.

    We’ve been members of two congregations that worked with the homeless. Believe me, it is not for the faint of heart. It is extremely challenging work. Oh my goodness, it’s challenging.

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