Tuesday, December 31, 2013

What is The The Right Choice?

Spoke with Dave the other night.

He was in great spirits.

He wanted to wish me a Merry Christmas!

He has been at The Good Samaritan Ministries for five months now.

In another month he will move into an apartment, will get his cell phone back and have access to the internet.

He will also be able to move about town a little more freely.

He was very excited.

He seems to have settled into a routine and looking forward to the future.

I am thrilled that he did not give up and pushed through the challenges.

Dave had been living in his car and when that broke down he moved into the shelter system.

When the shelters filled up he was put on a waiting list.

I turned him on to Good Samaritan Ministries.

He had two choices get off the streets and live there or stay on the streets.

He chose to go to GSM.

I believe it was the right choice for him!

Not everyone will make the same choice!

Lava Mae - Mobile Showers for the Homeless | Indiegogo

Lava Mae - Mobile Showers for the Homeless | Indiegogo

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

The present!

On 11/11/13 I wrote a post about a man that I have been trying to find for over a month!

So this morning I prayed that I might run into him.

Sure enough as I left the alley from my house walking, I saw Michael down the street.

I yelled out his name and he came walking towards me.

I said that I had a Christmas present for him.

He looked surprised!

He walked back with me to my car. 

I had been carrying around a package for over a month!

As we talked he shared with me that he would "love to have a Grip and Grab."

His was broke!



We got to the car and I gave him the box.

He then he realized that it was in fact a brand new Grip and Grab!

It was a blast to give out a present to him on Christmas Eve!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Light in a Dark World



Over the past couple of days I have been contemplating this common theme "Let there be light".

In Richmond there seems to be the public opinion that the homeless are outcasts.

In today's paper there was concerned raised that the city will run off the homeless from Monroe Park.

In biblical times there were the Lepers who were the outcasts.

In Richmond it would appear to be the homeless.

The homeless have no public place to go other than the city/state library or public parks.

It would seem that if the city doesn't talk about it or do anything than the situation will change by itself.

I pray for the day that there will be a light to shine in a dark place.

A light that will shine 24/7 and be open to all of God's children.

This morning on my walk I saw a light that I have not seen before in the early hours of the morning.



It gave me great hope and encouragement that someday there will be a place where the light shines 24/7.

A place where the light will shine in a dark world and will offer hope to all.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

A Good Night

If this last Tuesday was a hard night then last night was a good night!

This story started a few weeks ago with a phone call from my friend Janet.

Her brother had befriended a homeless man.

Janet asked if I could help.

I told her to give him my number.

A few weeks passed and no word.

Monday morning I received a phone call from this man, let's call him Jim.

Jim called to say he was homeless and needed help.

I setup a time for him to call me back and we would meet on Wednesday.

The first good sign was that he actually called me back at the exact time.

We then agreed to meet at the Hardee's on the Boulevard.

I called my good friend Charles up to come along.

Charles is whom everyone calls including the largest shelters in Richmond when there is a need. 

I"ll write about that another day!

Jim found himself with no place to live.

He is staying in a hotel and running out of time.

He is all alone.

He didn't know what to do. 

He had never lived on the streets before.

Jim is scared to death with no place to turn to.

The great news is?

Jim has a job!

With a little encouragement and some of Charles' connections we should be able to get him a place to live.

Charles told Jim it could be a LOT worse.

As Charles shared from personal experience "you could be an addict, with no job, no place to live and eating out of a garbage cans."

Jim acknowledge that Charles was right.

As we continued the conversation we learned a lot more.

To top it off, Jim is a veteran!

That means there are even more resources available.

By the end of the night we were all laughing and having a great time.

It doesn't get much better than that!

It takes intentional time set aside to listen to ones needs to find out how you can help someone!

Last night was a GOOD night and today I am sure it will be even better!


Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Hard Night

Last night I went to Alpha and Omega Bible Church.

It's a church for the homeless.

Usually I go to see some friends and shoot the breeze.

Most nights it's uneventful, but not last night.

First off I drive up and see an ambulance. Someone had gotten a little too intoxicated.

As I walk in, a nice lady spoke to me while sitting on the stoop.

I'll call her Anne for the sake of this story.

Anne was very polite and quite engaging.

She shared stories of singing in church and playing on a pump organ.

Then she spoke of her work history and her separation from her family.

She described her health and her numerous head injuries.

At this point she became emotional. 

It was hard to sit and listen because I have such a hard time relating to her circumstances.

The streets are very dangerous for a single woman.

She had just been robbed last weekend of all her belongings.

Most women will turn tricks to stay off the streets, or take up a boyfriend for protection.

A single women is not safe on the streets alone!

Anne has no place to go.

She is scared and alone!

Anne described the cold weather shelter and no one would like to stay there.

If you get in, you sleep on a small thin mat on the cold floor with no blankets or pillows.

Everyone is stacked up close to each other.

As one guy put it "who wants to wake up, roll over and kiss some stranger."

Richmond we can do better! 

There is no place for a single woman roaming the streets to go if the shelters are already full.

Before I drove home to my comfortable warm house, I gave Anne my card in hopes that she will call me and I can find her some help.

I left the church mad as all get up!

This is not right.

We can do better and we will!

If you know of a place for Anne to go please let me know!

Monday, December 16, 2013

The Homeless Guy: I Hate The Homeless

The Homeless Guy: I Hate The Homeless: So, you are one of those people who hate the homeless.  You make no bones about it, you'll tell anyone who'll listen.   You're ...

This is a post from a blog of a homeless man in San Diego.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Someone Who Cares!



I love this picture!

Why?

Because this is a picture of a good friend.

Because he used to be homeless and now he wants to give back and help with the community garden.

I found this to be true that those who were homeless want to give back!

It's great to see someone who cares!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

In Honor of a Man Who Saved My Life!

In honor of my Uncle Ned I want to re post an article that I wrote about a year ago.

I am who I am because of my Uncle.

I am not sure I would be here today, if it were not for the prayers of my Uncle!

http://homelesshookup.blogspot.com/2012/10/the-genealogy-of-prayer.html

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Get Good Advice

Last night I met up with two friends of mine who are true urban campers in the truest sense.

They live in a camp in the woods.

The last few days have been extremely tough seeing how it has been very cold and wet!

The wet is the biggest enemy! 

Once you get wet its hard to stay warm.

I thought it would be great to get with the guys and show them around. Afterwards we could go have a good meal together.

It was a chance to get out of the weather as well.

I asked them to join with me and dream for a bit about what an outreach might look like.

We had a great time together discussing the needs.

I might be able to come up with some ideas, but its much better to hear from those that will benefit the most from this outreach.

We covered a lot of ground.

Here are just a few ideas that came from our time together.  


  1. I shared the idea that we can all come along side each other and be better together.
  2. We discussed the need for all the folks that want to participate to actually contribute something to the whole.
    1. If you know how to cook then get in the kitchen. If you know how to use the internet then teach someone else who doesn't.
    2. Build dignity and self worth in all that we do.
    3. Serve one another.
  3. There needs to be expectations and boundaries for all.
    1. Safety plays a key role.
  4. The need for free laundry facilities
    1. Not enough available in the city
    2. The ones that exist are extremely hard to get into.
  5. Showers
    1. Too few around
    2. Last night after dinner I took one of the guys across the river in order that he might get a shower at The Healing Place. That meant afterwards he was going to have to walk 3 miles back to his camp in the cold and wet.
  6. Don't have any tv's except for on a special occasion.
    1. Too much temptation for becoming a couch potato as well as an opportunity to fight over what channel it needs to be on.
    2. No laying around all day there must be some form of engagement.

  7. There needs to be more places that serve dinners.
    1. Tues and Thurs nights are covered now, but the rest of the time is at the Salvation Army. What I am told is that it's not very good. I have seen even in California that the homeless get served what I wouldn't want to eat. How do you love your neighbor as yourself?
  8. We need to connect those that come, back to the Church.
    1. They need to see that The Church can make a difference!
The dream can become a reality if we get good advice!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Real People Real Stories!

Sometimes real stories from invisiblepeople.tv help to educate the public on what is happening on the streets.


Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Progress

Progress comes in all different ways.

With respect to the homeless I am excited to report the progress of three men.

One 24 year old came from out of the woods to have a Thanksgiving meal with a family.

Another celebrated four months of not being on the streets  and in another two months he will have his own apartment.

And another went from living in a tent in the woods to finding his family after twenty years and moving back in with them.

It is an honor and a privilege to see the many ways God works to restore life!

This season we have a lot to be thankful for and a lot to celebrate!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thanksgiving!

I am thankful for all that God is doing to help put an end to homelessness.

I am thrilled to be watching what only God can do.

God is up to big things in the Northside and beyond!

Some may say that homelessness can never be solved.

I say they don't know the God that can.

Some people say that there are those who don't want to leave the streets.

That maybe true but I know that they have lost hope.

I am thankful for a God who gives us hope against all odds even homelessness.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Keep praying!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Where is the Compassion in Hawaii?




http://www.alternet.org/state-rep-smashes-homeless-peoples-stuff-sledgegammer

Another example of a twisted approach to solving homelessness!

The fact that he is quoted as saying that he is "disgusted" with the homeless speaks volumes.

All I can do is pray!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

I'm Above Ground, So I Can't Complain!

This morning on my walk this was the response I received when I asked a stranger " How are you doing?"

He said " I'm above ground so I can't complain!"

I love it because I have seen over and over again people who are homeless, poor and even sick have such great attitudes under horrific circumstances.

I wish I could say the same, but I can't.

I take for granted the fact that I am alive and blessed with so much.

I know a man who lives on a park bench and looks at life so positively?

How?

I try to relate but I can't.

The fact is that they appreciate God for all the right reasons. 

I seem to fall short.

I tend to take too much for granted.

I want to be thankful for what God has done, for what God is doing and for what God is going to do.

Let me wake up every day and say "I'm above ground so I can't complain!"


Sunday, November 17, 2013

Pain for Gain

Some times you have to do what you don't want to do even when it's painful, in order to accomplish something better that you can't even see!

May I have the faith to believe in what I can not see.

Friday, November 15, 2013

What's a Dixie Chopper?

Most will not fully appreciate this post unless you have been fully vested in the lives of those who once had nothing.

This morning on my walk I saw a man on a riding mower.

It was not Jim, who I see on the mower quite regularly.

This time it was Corey.


For the past few months Corey has been doing landscape work around Northminster Church.

He would always say he couldn't wait for the opportunity to get on the tractor.

Not just any lawn tractor but a "Dixie Chopper!"

You may not be able to read it on the front of the mower but it says "The World's Fastest Mower!"

Corey respects the fact that it is a very expensive piece of equipment and he wants to take care of it.

The joy comes from seeing his dream come true.

 I couldn't be more excited for Corey.

He has taken another step forward in responsibility.

There is a measure of respect and dignity in this process and it is a thrill to watch Corey grow!

A man who used to be on the streets, to a man over seeing a house of men and driving a Dixie Chopper.

It doesn't get much better!

PS I used to run a landscape business and I never got to drive a Dixie Chopper!


Thursday, November 14, 2013

Prayers for Employment

This morning I got a call while I was on my prayer walk.

Your next question:

What are you doing with your phone on while you are praying?

Good question, but this morning at 7:00 am I am glad I did!


Shelton called to ask that I pray for him concerning a job he was applying for.

I was excited to join him in this prayer request!

What an awesome story would be told if he got it.

I love calls like that. I think he knew that I would be praying.

I hope that you will join in as well and pray that Shelton will get the job at Phillip Morris!

God can do it!

Monday, November 11, 2013

The Grip and Grab Movement!


Who would of thought that this one tool could do so much.

The other day as I was walking a man called out to me to say how much he appreciated what I was doing.

He was yelling to me from across Brookland Park Blvd.

He said "I wish more people would pick up the trash!"

He went onto say "At least put it in the trash can, there's one on every corner."

I said I was praying that more would do that.

As I continued down the road I saw the man go into his apartment.

Then a few seconds later he came running down the road.

He said " I got one too, but it's broke."

He held out his arm holding up a grip and grab like tool.

I smiled and acknowledged him.

"That's great!"

As he left to go home he said.

"I got your back."

What a cool moment.

Not only is trash being collected, but relationships are being built with a tool called the Grip and Grab!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Another Man Has Found a Home! It won't be in the woods anymore!

The past few days have been a whirlwind.

On Wednesday night I received a call from my daughter in Newport News.

She called to say she knew someone in Midlothian who was homeless, a young man in his twenties.

She heard about the man from her old roommate.

The roommate told my daughter about her father who lives in Southside and how he had come into contact with this young man.

The father happens to be an old friend who served with me on a Young Life committee.

He was looking for some help for this young man.

I spoke with my friend on Thursday morning as I was driving to work.

So the need traveled from Midlothian to Newport News to the City of Richmond.

How cool is that?

The young man was at the end of his rope. 

He had hit his bottom.

He showed up last Sunday in a church service on southside desperate for help.

He had been living in the woods.

This Church is coming together to walk with this young man as he tries to get his life back on track.

There are so many more miracles that took place, but I can not elaborate because of the circumstances.

By Friday housing had been found for this young man.

He moves in over the weekend.

So God has brought together so many people from different places to do what only he can do, love on this young man and provide a safe place for him to live!

Another person won't be sleeping in the woods tonight.



Thursday, November 7, 2013

Meet Someone New Every Day!

The other morning on my walk I met someone new.

This little car stopped at the corner and and a man rolled down his window.

The man asked:

"Are you picking up the trash around here?"

I said I was and he responded.

I am (so and so) and I am the president of the Ginter Park Terrace Civic Association and we have advocated for years that we need to keep our streets clean.

Thank you for picking up the trash.

I said your welcome and he sped off in his car.

I never know where an encounter like that might lead, but I am enjoying meeting new people all the time.

I then started to pray, that I might meet someone new every day.

God is up to something and I am having a blast making new friends!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Do What's Best

Three days ago I posted an article about regional cooperation.

Unbeknownst to me, on that same day a similar article was written by Alice Tousignant, Executive Director for Va Supportive Housing in the Richmond Times Dispatch.

It also turns out that both articles are about the work that Va Supportive Housing has accomplished in the Charlottesville area as well as Norfolk Va.

It's time that the Richmond Metro Area follow the examples set in other parts of the state. 

I too believe that if we can all work together we can make a huge difference.

It's time to do what's best!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Do You Believe?

This story with pics is inspiring me for what could be in Richmond!

Just by looking at the pictures I can see love and dignity in what this shelter is providing.

I BELIEVE what about you?

Inside Silicon Valley Homeless Shelter - Business Insider

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Regional Cooperation Does Exist!

This past week I got an interesting phone call from Anne who works with Va Supportive Housing in Charlottesville.

She was calling me to extend an invitation to a reception for The Crossings.

The reception was to celebrate all the success that they have had.

The Crossings is an apartment building to house the chronically homeless as well as low income families.

I had never met Anne and asked how she got my name.

She said she had read an article about The Homeless Retreat in a local paper back in March.

It was great fun exchanging stories and getting to know each other.

I look forward to seeing all that is going on in Charlottesville.

I already know that Richmond could learn a lot from the example that Charlottesville has set.

I pulled this from The Crossings website.

"With support from the City of Charlottesville and Albemarle County, The Crossings is a regional solution to homelessness."

I look forward to the day that Richmond will see a regional solution to homelessness!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

You Never Know

The other day I was downtown in traffic court.

No, it was not for me!

I was sitting in the lobby and there came Sharron passing me by.

Sharron is one of the neighbors that lives across the street from Northminster.

I wrote about her back in May.

I caught her attention and we chatted for a bit.

It turns out she works for the court system.

It was great to run into her when you least expect it!

You never know who you will see where?

Monday, October 28, 2013

The Other Day I Became a Rat

I looked up the definition of a rat on Wikipedia.

"It is a term (noun and verb) in criminal slang for an informant - ""to rat on someone"" is to betray them by informing the authorities of a crime or misdeed they committed."

So here's my story:

One day I was having breakfast in Highland Park and I noticed someone across the street.

The man looked familiar to me. 

I stared a little more and noticed that it was one of the men from Charles' house.

Two things occurred to me.

First off, this was not the place to be hanging out. 

It happens to be a place to drink or do drugs.

Secondly was I going to rat this guy out to Charles.

I decided the best thing to do was to call Charles.

When I spoke with him, he said he was going to do a drive by.

This means that Charles wanted this individual to know that he saw him and what he was doing.

Not long after that, Charles took the man to detox.

He was in such bad shape the man spent the day in the emergency room. He was very unstable.

He eventually ended up in a rehab facility.

Charles explained to me that ratting him out saved his life.

As Charles would say "That's what we do, we save lives!"

If being a rat saves a life, I'll be a rat!


Saturday, October 26, 2013

The Grip and Grab



When I bought the "Grip &Grab" I had no idea what impact it would have.

God has used it as a tool to guide me on my walk.

I have used it as a tool for picking up trash.

I have used it as a gift to give away to a new friend.

Willie at the barber shop across the street from my house approached me one day and said:

"I will pick up the trash in front of the shop."

I was thrilled to know that someone else cared. 

He assured me that he had that place covered.

The other day I went by to give Willie a present.

A Grip and Grab!

Willie was so excited about his new tool he was smiling from ear to ear!

Now let's see what impact that tool will have in his life.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

New Math!


Last night I went to hear Mark Batterson speak.

He is the author of the book "The Circle Maker".

This book influenced my walk with God in the single greatest way in my entire life of 54 years.

Prayer!

Sounds simple, but is amazing if we add faith to the equation.

Here are some quotes from last night.

"Give generously, pray regularly and watch what God will do."

"We ask God to reveal the second step before we take the first step."

"What step of faith do you need to take?"

"Sometimes God shows up and sometimes He shows off."

It's all about seeking God first, and not about seeking what we want first and then asking God for it.

I am not saying you can't ask God for what's on your heart.

I am saying if we seek Him first, he will place things on your heart to pray for.

Often we have to take the first step of faith in Him, for Him to answer our prayers.

It's not of our power but His, that prayers get answered.

Prayers + Faith = Awesome Relationship with God!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The Front Porch is Where Community Starts



The other Saturday a got an email from Muhammad who is in the video on my blog.

I immediately responded to the email asking if we could have coffee together that morning.

Sure enough he said yes and I went to pick him up.

Guess what, he only lives a few blocks away!

Muhammad and I spent the morning catching up and dreaming of what God is up to.

We had very real conversations discussing some personal issues.

It was great being real and honest about our feelings.

That morning we drew closer together!

How many neighbors are you being real with?

True community will start with honest conversations even when it might hurt a bit!

Muhammad is doing great and it was a blast eating great big fattening donuts from the Sugar Shack on the front porch.

The front porch is where community can take place!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Respect of a stranger

This is the story of a man I met this past Saturday.

I was prayer walking around Northminster Church when I saw  a man riding his bike up the sidewalk.

I asked if he was collecting cans.

He said he was and could he have the ones in my bucket.

I told him I had some more at my church in Mechanicsville and would he like them.

He said he would and I tried to make arrangements to get them to him later that day.

I gave him my name and his was Mike.

We said goodbye and I told him my address and to stop by later and grab the cans.

I wasn't sure exactly what time that would be because of my crazy schedule.

So as I walked home I felt led to just get in my car right then and go get the cans.

It was early in the morning and I had some time before a wedding I was headed to.

I got in my car and headed back to Northminster hoping that Mike would still be there.

Sure enough he was sitting on the stairs waiting for the food pantry to open up.

I asked him if he wanted to ride with me to Atlee Community Church.

Without any hesitation he jumped into the car.

We had a great time together that morning. 

We went through all the recycle bins and pulled out a bunch of cans.

I enjoyed getting to know Mike and how much he loved fishing.

I had seen Mike around the neighborhood quite a bit and had always admired his initiative and ingenuity.

I had no idea about the shooting incident in this video.

Now I respect the man even more!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

The Circle is Getting Bigger, but Not Any Larger.


This past Friday something extra special happened.

For almost two years I have been prayer walking in a big circle around Northminster Church and the surrounding neighborhood.

I started alone on this journey.

I was inspired by a book I had read called The Circle Maker written by Mark Batterson.

Along the way many people have showed up to join me.

Many prayers have been lifted up for this church and the neighborhood.

On Friday I had come to the church to pray.

When I drove up I saw a group of 4 ladies and 1 gentleman holding hands and praying at the corner of Moss Side and Westwood.

What a beautiful sight to see.

After I parked my car I tracked them down and asked if I could join them.

I knew a couple of the folks in the group. They were all from Northminster.

From what I understood, they had read the book The Circle Maker and had started praying for the church every Friday morning.

The reason I had not seen them before is because I was not there at that time of day.

This was awesome to hear because I had prayed that others would take the leap of faith and come and pray for the church as well as the neighborhood.

As if that wasn't enough as we rounded the turn for the second or third time, there stood Charles and Corey talking on the sidewalk.

These two men live a few blocks away. Both men are close friends of mine.

We had them join in on our prayer time.

This was a small picture of The Church. 

A group of people from all walks of life rich, poor, white and black holding hands and worshiping an amazing God together.

Standing on a street corner praying looks a little strange to most folks, but I know people are watching and their curiosity is on the rise.

I pray that they too will be drawn into the prayer circle.

Getting up and doing something about it requires an act of faith.

It was a privilege and an honor to join hands and be of one accord as we prayed together.

I knew at that moment not only was God smiling down on us, but God was up to something really BIG!

The prayer group was getting bigger, but the circle around the church remained the same.

There is a determination in these prayers that God will show up in this neighborhood in a refreshing way that will draw all people to himself.

We just need to be faithful and intentional in our walk with him.

God's timing is not our own, but I am loving every minute watching the circle grow bigger.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Lessons in Communication

Today I learned something new.

How I communicate may not always work for everyone.

I grew up in an upper middle class neighborhood here in Richmond.

The way I communicate, does it work in the hood?

Not necessarily.

I was asked by a friend, to be more direct and hard-hitting to make a point.

The shock factor raises the awareness that you are serious.

The language on the street is sometimes abrupt.

There is no soft peddling of words.

I am not referring to cussing either.

I am not here to say one way is better than another.

I am just saying that sometimes you may have to adapt to the culture you are living in.

I had never thought of it before until now.

I get it!

Lesson learned.


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Slice of Heaven!


Yesterday I got to see God move.

On my prayer walk there is a young boy who stands at the corner waiting for the school bus.

I have seen him daily for months now.

Every morning I try to speak to him, but I hardly get a response.

I know that along this journey it takes a lot of patience to build some trust in a complete stranger.

I remember one morning long ago, I approached this particular corner and the young boy was standing next to some trash.

I said my good morning and barely got a response, but as I walked up to him to pick up the trash he said "Sir I didn't put that there!"

I replied "Don't worry I didn't think you did".

Every morning after that we continued the same routine, I would say good morning and he would barely respond.

Yesterday was different.

As I walked around the corner to pick up some trash, the boy stood beside me and asked me a question.

He asked " Is this a hobby of yours?"

I couldn't believe it!

I turned in shock and thought about what I should say.

At first I said "No".

I wasn't prepared, but God was.

I proposed a question to him.


The boy was quite puzzled. He didn't know what to say. 

I am sure he thought, what kinda question is that?

He shrugged his shoulders and said he didn't know.

I then told him about what the bible said in the Lord's Prayer.

"Thy Kingdom come thy will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven".

"I'm just trying to create a little slice of Heaven".

His response was priceless.

With a BIG ole smile on his face he said "yea, yea!"

At that point I knew he got it!

I had never seen him smile like that before.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

The Homeless Guy: Solutions For Homelessness

This is a great article about "Housing First" from the perspective of a homeless guy in San Diego.

The Homeless Guy: Solutions For Homelessness: There are several ways to solve homelessness.   Back in the day, I used to say, 'by any means necessary'.  That is, if a method res...

I have seen it work numerous times! Here's just one example.

http://homelesshookup.blogspot.com/2013/04/it-does-work.html

#homelessness #housingfirst

Friday, October 11, 2013

Homeless Tours in Seattle -- There's a Sucker Born Every Minute | Carey Fuller

Homeless Tours in Seattle -- There's a Sucker Born Every Minute | Carey Fuller

I can't stand watching people take advantage of the poor.

In the hood, it's Title Loans and Check Cashing business's.

One service that most people are unaware of are those who cash government checks for a THIRD of their cash value.

The homeless are the customers.

It turns my stomach that there are people who take advantage of those who have nothing.

Greed can cause many a person to do the unthinkable.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

A Local Church being THE Church

Here is a great article about a local church doing what they can to help the homeless.

http://www.religiousherald.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=7202&Itemid=43

I love some of the ideas they have come up with!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Choices


On 8/2/13 I wrote about a friend who was homeless.

At that time he had just gone into Good Samaritan Ministries to live.

It's been two months now and I had dinner with my friend last night to see how he was doing.

The first few weeks were rough adjusting to a new environment.

There was one or two individuals who were making it very tough.

Let's just say they were not very friendly.

The truth came to light and they have since left.

My friend has settled into a routine and seems quite content.

He's eating well and trying to stay on top of his diabetes.

The streets are no place for a diabetic.

We discussed the choices people make to stay on the streets or take a chance and live at a place like Good Samaritan Ministries.

He claimed that over 90 men have left the program in the last two months.

Most of them didn't even make it a day or two.

There is a choice!

Not a right or wrong, but a choice of where.

He was glad for the decision he made. 

We don't always agree with the choices people make, but they do have a choice to make.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Disgusting!

This weekend it hit me how much disgrace has been brought on Christians.

The term Christian I will define as a follower of Jesus Christ.

What I have learned from my time spent in the Hood, is how much damage has been done to the name of The Church.

The Church being made up followers of Christ or Christians.

So called Christians, have acted in ways that have confused and disgusted those watching.

The name Christian has been used as a means to get what people want.

Money, sex, and drugs are the end result.

It saddens me to see God's Church being abused as such.

Yet I know a God who can overcome such things and turn what was meant for harm into good.

It is exciting to be a part of the process of showing Christ's true love to others who have seen just the opposite.

There is a long way to go, but exciting to think about what could be and will be.

Do you want to be a part of that change?

What can you do to show what it means to be a true follower of Christ?

There are so many people who need God's love.

The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.

What may be seen as disgusting today I believe will be a beautiful picture of God's Church in the near future.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Crazy Good!!!

In less than 24 hours TWO friends of mine have asked to get BAPTIZED!!!

It must be in the air!

It's gett'n crazy good on up in here!

I would be remiss, if I didn't put it out there.

Is there anybody else who wants to get baptized?

PS Thanks MB for the lingo!!! Crazy Good!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

I don't like cats but?

Saw an old friendly face last week at Mt Moriah.

There was a luncheon being served by the Friends of the Homeless.

Luke (not his real name) was there grabbing some lunch on Friday.

I sat down with him and he asked about the retreat from this past February.

He seemed interested in the retreat, but he said he was unable to make it.

He said he couldn't make it because he cares for a lot of animals.

He feeds about 40 cats around the city as well as a bunch of birds.

I have seen him loving on a few cats over on Marshal street.

He told me he really loves animals and it shows.

I asked him about the loaves of bread he was carrying around. 

He had a large bag full and those loaves were for the birds.

Then to my surprise, he lugs around two gallons of water!

That's about 10 lbs on top of whatever else he has.

The water is for the cats.

Luke used to be an insurance salesman.

He also said that he recently worked at a Stuffy's sub shop on Libbie Ave.

I told him that I used to live a couple of blocks from there.

That opened the door for more conversation.

It turns out he used to volunteer for a friend of mine I just met a couple of weeks ago.

Luke told me that he can't cover as much ground as he used to, but he still walks about 15 miles a day!

I love the fact that he goes out of his way to love on the animals.

I am sorry, but I don't love cats.

But I love the fact that Luke does!

Sitting down and having a meal with someone opens the door to build a relationship!

Whose your next meal going to be with?




Monday, September 30, 2013

Chance Meeting on a Bridge?

On Friday as I was driving across the bridge, I saw one of my guys.

I refer to some men as my guys because they went on a retreat with me this past February.

I was headed to Mt Moriah to visit "Richmond Friends of the Homeless" who we're serving lunch that day.

I did a u-turn as I hung up the phone on Charles.

There was John (not his real name).

I came along side him and asked if he wanted a ride to Mt Moriah for lunch.

He said OK and hopped in the car.

It was great to see him. 

He seemed pleasantly surprised as well.

John seems to have his own set of challenges, but has always been willing to talk with me.

He was grateful for the ride.

When we arrived John got out and took his place in line.

After lunch I went up to John and asked if he would be willing to meet with a friend of mine who works for Pathways to Life.

To my surprise he said he would and he gave me his phone number.

I'm praying that some help will come from that meeting and that I can learn some more about how to help the men and women on the streets.

I love how God brings about divine appointments because I don't believe they are just by chance.