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!


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!


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 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!