Hope for the Hopeless/Homeless

hope for the hopelessHope for the Hopeless/Homeless

Ask yourself a question. If a person does not have hope what are the odds of them changing for the better? Even those who have no reason to be hopeless rarely change who they are as a person. Most people spend years with no real change in character. Most people run from change. How much more for a person living without hope, who may be addicted to alcohol or drugs, who may be struggling with mental illness, or have all of these issues in their life?So as a community, if we want to see people change their lives for the better, if we want to help prevent or stop homelessness, should we not give hope to the hopeless? Should we not give hope to the homeless? Some of us may disagree what that looks like, but we should be able to agree that hope is critical for people to change. If not, the real problem is us, not the homeless.

Individuals who manifest an attitude of the homeless as being less than human, that homeless people overall are horrific people who do not deserve love and mercy, that any offers of love, mercy, and compassion is foolish or wrong, are individuals who will not be very effective in resolving the homeless problem. They are individuals that need heart surgery. (They also fail to realize that it is not just homeless people who use feeding/clothing/medical services.)

Certain programs/services offering mercy through feeding, clothing, laundry services, free showers, etc do not have as their main goal to stop homelessness. That should be obvious. Their main goal is to let individuals know that in spite of themselves they have value as a human being. It is to give them some hope. For some it is to keep them alive another day hoping they will get the ‘real help’ they need. It is to create an atmosphere of love so that there is opportunity to speak into their lives. It is to create an atmosphere to expose them to services that can truly change their life.

Besides the fact that it is the right thing to provide services to the homeless to provide hope so that there is more of a chance they will get the help to change their lives, there is the truth that people will do whatever they can to eat. If there were no feeding programs in the area, crime would certainly come up, especially shoplifting. Many argue that feeding programs encourage crime. Common sense would say the opposite. (At a later date we will talk about the topic of feeding programs bring homeless into an area which increases crime.)

It should be noted that there are many individuals who use feeding, clothing, laundry, and medical services that are not homeless. Some are the working poor, some are those on disability, some are seniors. Should those individuals be denied services because of some of the addicted, criminal, refuse to change, homeless individuals?

In my next post I am going to share personal experiences of how I have seen giving hope through mercy ministries has changed lives in an amazing way.

P.S. As much as I believe there is a need for services of help and mercy, I believe more time, effort, resources should be spent on prevention and support for those who are willing to change their life for the better. I also believe there should be some strict guidelines in receiving services of help and mercy for those who are troublemakers, blatant criminals, etc. We need as a community to find a balance. Compassion with accountability. I do believe at times mercy ministries lean towards enabling, going beyond compassion.

Comments welcomed.

Trackbacks & Pings

  • Story of Roger-Spiritual Component :

    […] in spite of himself. He would not be alive today if along the way there were not glimpses of hope. Hope can take hopeless people to a place of change. He certainly would have not changed without the spiritual component. Doomsayers can question what […]

    3 years ago

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