Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Aesthetics vs A Solution

"Commissioners need to focus on more than aesthetics in considering how to address homelessness."

This quote is so accurate in its portrayal of how most people look at homelessness.

Sweep them under the carpet so we don't see them.

Put the homeless in jail so they stay off the streets.

I just wish the city officials were better mathematicians and had more compassion.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Breakfast with my neighbors

This past Saturday was the day I made some new friends.

On the third Saturday of the month we open the doors of the church for the people in the neighborhood to come to the food pantry.

The food pantry gives away food to those in need.

The supplies come from FeedMore the local food bank.

A typical day at the food pantry would consist of checking people in and then allowing them to get a bag of groceries.

A lot of people will come up to an hour before the doors open and stand out in the cold.

This Saturday we made some changes.

The doors were open almost two hours ahead of time.

And yes, someone was there when we opened the doors.

Coffee was served as people began to arrive.

Then we began to take orders for breakfast.

People were surprised as to what was happening.

The room was filled with folks sitting around and enjoying themselves.

They all had a great breakfast and then went to collect their groceries.

It was a little chaotic because I was not as organized as I should have been, but breakfast and groceries were not the goals.

What happened for me was the fact that I got to meet my neighbors and have a meal together.

I had awesome conversations about challenging subjects like being judgemental, race and God.

How do we see each other as God sees us?

God used that time for me to get to know my neighbors and they got to know my story as well.

Breakfast with my neighbors I wouldn't trade it for anything.

I can't wait till next month.

Do you want to have breakfast with us?

Monday, December 22, 2014

Feels Good!

This article is inspiring.

Two boys at a very early age put on a Christmas dinner for the homeless.

It is amazing to watch two young brothers be so generous.

At the end of the story they state that it "feels good" to help people.

http://wivb.com/2014/12/20/brothers-serve-dinner-to-the-homeless/

I would encourage folks to consider not just what feels good or makes you happy, but what are you called to do.

Happiness is based on a moment in time. 

I have learned that if I do things for the homeless based on just how it makes me feel, it won't last.

I have been hurt, disappointed, lied to and much more. 

I have wanted to quit.

I didn't like how it made me feel.

Joy comes from a calling.

Oswald Chambers writes

"Joy comes from seeing the complete fulfillment of the specific purpose for which I was created and born again, not from successfully doing something of my own choosing. The joy our Lord experienced came from doing what the Father sent Him to do. And He says to us, “As the Father has sent Me, I also send you” (John 20:21). "

A calling does not always feel good, but there is joy in knowing your calling.

I am called to help solve homelessness.

What is your calling?

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Thanks to my good friend Carol Kluver!

Carol - who knows what it truly means to love your neighbor.

The story below is all too familiar to the one I experienced in August of 2013 with David and Carol.

Happy ending for man who lost memory, became homeless in Raleigh | abc7news.com

I want to thank Carol, who reunited a man with his family after 15 years.

There are so many similarities between the two stories.

A man homeless for 10+ years.
The use of the internet to search.
Connecting with a sister in law.
The surprise of knowing someone is alive.
Family reunion after many years.

I could go on and on!

The part of this story that says

"As for what made that reunion possible, that's due in large part to not only Shameeka but the very philosophy they have at the outreach center. Catholic Charities encourages all the volunteers who come in from different faith-based groups to not only provide food but to also offer up fellowship and to take the time to talk to the people who are coming there."

is the true meaning of what it means to serve and love your neighbor.

I have seen lives changed not because someone was given food or clothes, but because someone cared enough to begin a friendship with a complete stranger!

Carol you are an inspiration!

Love you!



Thursday, December 4, 2014

Breakfast Anyone?

On Saturday Nov 15th I was on my prayer walk around the church.

It was early in the morning around 7:45 am. 

It just happened to be one of the coldest days of the year so far, 26 degrees.

I noticed a few people walking with their carts towards the church.

I then realized it was the Saturday that we open up the food pantry.

The food pantry serves between 50-75 families.

People were getting in line early, but they were all outside in the cold!

I thought to myself "We can do better".

I went home and mentioned my discovery to my wife.

I told her that I thought we should give these folks a ride home after they picked up their groceries.

They don't need to lug home a bunch of groceries in the freezing cold.

Then the conversation took on a new life.

What if we opened the doors early and let them get out of the cold?

What if we offered a good cup of coffee?

Then my wife said. "Let's take it up a notch".

What if "we prepared breakfast"?

Nothing like a good warm breakfast of eggs, bacon and toast!

So for anyone interested in helping with the food or the rides please show up at 3121 Moss Side Ave on Dec 20 at 8 am.

I would also like to point out it's not about the food or the rides!

It's about seizing the moment to build relationships with your neighbors.

Sit down and have a meal with a stranger.

Break bread together and you will walk away with a new friend.

Breakfast anyone? 

Let's love our neighbors!

Friday, November 28, 2014

List of needs for the homeless this winter.

Let this article serve as a means to generate ideas of things you can give to the homeless this winter.

I am more than happy to receive items for the homeless at the church Mon-Thursday 9-5 pm.

3121 Moss Side Ave Richmond, Va 23222

https://opsafewinter.org/?p=1269

I never thought that Russell Brand and I would ever agree on anything.

Russell Brand had some interesting things to say about how our society is treating the homeless.

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/11/russell-brand-4-billion-spent-on-elections-but-feeding-the-homeless-is-illegal/

Have you ever considered WiFi for the homeless?

Some things like the internet we take for granted.

Have you ever considered what it means to someone who is homeless?

It's a great tool to communicate with family, look for jobs, find resources.

I know there are a lot of misconceptions out there.

I used to wonder how does a homeless person have a phone?

How can they afford one?

Now a days that can't afford to be without.

If they own one it usually becomes a priority to keep it paid up.

Things like smartphones, tablets, and laptops can be life lines.

They are a means to communicate.

I even know a guy who writes a blog on a regular basis.

http://thehomelessguy.blogspot.com

I never imagined texting my homeless friends.

What would you do without your smartphone or the internet?

The same answer you came up with is true for the homeless.

Times have changed and we need to educate ourselves.

http://www.geekwire.com/2014/heres-homeless-people-think-internet-access-seattles-tent-cities/

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Creating jobs for the homeless.

One of the challenges I think about quite often is job creation.

What are some unique opportunities to create jobs for those in need?

I have seen a number of great examples of jobs for the homeless.

Here is one example.

http://6abc.com/food/philly-nuns-cranberry-sauce-creating-jobs-for-homeless/411065/

I would love to see more.

Do you have any ideas?

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Fort Lauderdale giving out bus tickets.

Though it may appear to be a good thing to give out bus tickets to unite the homeless with friends and family, it's not a long term solution.

There are no quick fixes!

It will take hard work and commitment to solve homelessness.

Free bus tickets might look good in the news, but it doesn't address the problem head on.

http://blogs.browardpalmbeach.com/pulp/2014/11/fort_lauderdale_gives_homeless_free_bus_tickets_out_of_town.php

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Homeless Students Living in the Shadows

It's easy not to think about them. They are not on the street corners flying the signs. They are hidden from plain view in the shadows. They are the homeless students struggling to make it.

http://www.npr.org/2014/11/11/363318370/communities-struggle-to-reach-homeless-students-living-in-the-shadows

Monday, November 10, 2014

Homeless dragged down by belongings, as cities view keepsakes ‘trash’ | Al Jazeera America

We need a safe place in Richmond that offers showers, storage and laundry services.

Quote from article:


“An adult experiencing homelessness can go there to store their possessions, do their wash, take a shower and then go out and interview for a job,” he said. “What we’ve learned is that to be successful, you have to focus on all of these issues.”


Homeless dragged down by belongings, as cities view keepsakes ‘trash’ | Al Jazeera America

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Homeless teen finds sister but that's not the best part

Unfortunately a study done by HUD states that upwards of 37% of the children who age out of foster care become homeless.



This is a story with a great ending!



Homeless teen finds sister but that's not the best part

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Police charge 90-year-old man, 2 pastors with feeding homeless

This does not help! This only exacerbates the perception that being homeless means you are less than human. Some people just want to sweep the problem under the carpet.

Police charge 90-year-old man, 2 pastors with feeding homeless

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

We Are All Homeless - Heartwarming Video

The following video is awesome



Here are some of the points that hit home with me.



Willie was buying homeless signs as a way to deal with his own discomfort.



It's all about building relationships and making connections.



We need to change the public awareness.



No one story fits all!



Why can't we all acknowledge one another as human beings?



We Are All Homeless - Heartwarming Video

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

South Carolina To Establish Court For Homeless

Interesting concept. 



The homeless court will be located in a homeless center!



Jail time is not the solution.



South Carolina To Establish Court For Homeless

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Coming together

It's a good thing when organizations can come together for the greater good.

I believe the different churches in our community can do the same to end chronic homelessness.

LA Times

Monday, September 8, 2014

DC is a Short Distance Away and Richmond Has the Same Issues

http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/report-predicts-another-surge-in-homeless-families-in-dc-this-winter/2014/09/02/c7405990-32d2-11e4-a723-fa3895a25d02_story.html

This Story is Typical of the Situation of the Homeless

http://www.mercurynews.com/bay-area-news/ci_26461884/homeless-veteran-living-an-suv-battles-declining-health

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Creative storage for the Homeless

http://www.citylab.com/cityfixer/2014/08/cities-can-ease-homelessness-with-storage-units/379073/

Monday, August 18, 2014

It's been a Year!

In three days from now it will be one year ago that I spoke with the senior pastor (Northminster Church) Sammy Williams  about a possible merger with Atlee Community Church.

I shared with him this idea of a community center that will reach out to the folks in the community and care for the homeless.

One of the biggest needs in this community is a safe place for kids to go and just be kids. 

If they don't have any choices in this neighborhood then they will end up on the streets.

There is space here for teens to come and be themselves!

On my prayer walk around this church one day, God shared with me an idea of a homeless retreat.

In February 2013 we had the retreat and it impacted many a life not to mention, I am not the same person!

The homeless need a place to come and get out of the weather, a space to be productive, and a place to just have fun.

A safe place!

The homeless need a place where they can be treated like a human being and not a piece of garbage.

This campus will be that place!

This past spring God did what only he can do. 

HE gave us this beautiful facility that is over 133,000 sq ft of space!



The two churches came together to be one!

These facilities are more than capable of fulfilling this dream.

Some call it a Dream Center.

We call it Atlee Church - Northminster Campus!

If you want to be a part of what's happening in the Northside of Richmond, come join us this Saturday for a work day at 8 am and then get up on Sunday and join us for a brunch at 10:30.

At this brunch I will share more of the vision for this campus and everything leading up to our launch on Sept 28th!

Don't miss out on what God is doing here!

It's been one crazy, unbelievable, fantastic year!

Can't wait for next year!


Inspiring Way to Help the Homeless.

Homeless shelter softball team keeps on winning

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

'People look down your nose at you, if your homeless!"



"Treat others like yourself."

"Don't look at them as a statistic, but as people."

"We don't want them to leave the same way they came in."

"Do as much as we can, the best as we can."

Friday, August 1, 2014

Three German students surprise a homeless guy - YouTube

Three German students surprise a homeless guy - YouTube

Key to Change

The video below reminded me of a story about what a key can mean to someone.

It was a story I wrote about 1 1/2 yrs ago. "Key to a fresh start"

A lot has happened since then!

Unfortunately David passed away a year after that article, but he has only inspired me to work harder at making a difference.

Some times something as simple as making a key can change a life.

Watch the video.





http://www.faithit.com/giving-key-for-homeless-ryan-gosling-selena-gomez/

In this video making keys has given some folks a second chance.

It may only be a simple idea that can make a huge difference!


Sunday, July 27, 2014

More accurate count.

Encouraging signs that we are looking at the numbers more closely.

The fact that HUD and the department of Education were so far off from one another speaks to the challenges the homeless face.

http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/5620873

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Throw out the stereo type! We ALL could become homeless.

We need to change the lens we use to view people through.

This is true of myself.

This video speaks for itself!





Cardboard Stories | Homeless in Orlando

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

More cities across the U.S. consider homelessness a crime | The Rundown | PBS NewsHour

The solution to homelessness will not come by way of the government.



The solution to the problem is compassion.



We all need to be more compassionate and reach out and get involved.



It will change your life as well as others.



I should know!



My life and my family's life has never been the same since the time I took in a homeless man who was dying of cancer.



The lives of everyone who jumped in have never been the same.



This man's life has inspired many!



As a result more people are off the streets or out of the shelters.



It won't happen over night, but it WILL happen!



Do we think laws and policies to alienate the homeless will change anything?



Like the article stated it will only make it more difficult for those who are homeless.



Being homeless is a full time job!



Don't sit on the sidelines when you CAN get in the game!





More cities across the U.S. consider homelessness a crime | The Rundown | PBS NewsHour

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Homeless in Hawaii? Lawmaker wants to give you a free flight home | Fox News

Homeless in Hawaii? Lawmaker wants to give you a free flight home | Fox News



This will not solve anything! 



This is no different than just a hand out (a rather large one) or a way to sweep something under the carpet.



Who cares about these people?



What will happen when they return home?



What support system is in place?



What resources such as food and money do they have?



Does anybody really care?



I wish people would take their creative ideas and push for a solution that involves dignity, respect and most of all Love.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Another Step Forward

This past Saturday a friend of mine took another step forward.

He graduated with a high school diploma!

It has been an awesome year watching, as this young man takes another step forward in his life.

It wasn't too long ago that he was living in an abandoned car on Chamberlayne Ave.

God has moved mightily in his life.

He just celebrated a few weeks ago, a year of sobriety.

Then on top of graduating, he got a raise at his job that he has had for several months now.


God is good and it's a blast watching lives change for the better!

It may not happen over night, but just take one step forward at a time!

PS Congrats Corey!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

What Did It Mean To Them?

The other week the church hosted 40 women in transition from Caritas for the second time in about six weeks.

It meant the world to us.

We gained 40 new friends!

What did it mean to the women?

They shared in a group setting what their concerns were and what they could celebrate.

This picture says it all.

The bottom left line is a home run!

Thanks to all who ARE the CHURCH and made "This a peaceful safe place (not all churches)"


PS Some of the women pleaded with us to stay longer. 
They even offered to sell their food stamps in order to pay for the food necessary to stay another week.

Friday, July 4, 2014

The Homeless Guy: Turned Away From The Library


What saddens me most about this article is the fact that there are very few places for the homeless to go.

The library is popular because it is open to the public and you have access to a computer.

In this case he was turned away.

What other choices exist when it's 98℉ or  there's a thunderstorm?

Opportunities abound in ways to create safe places for the homeless.

What would those places look like?

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Relationships formed

This past Saturday the women from Caritas left the church building, but didn't leave the heart of the church.

Over the past week numerous friendships were formed.

Bonds were made that will last forever.

When the Church steps up, a lot can happen.

If homelessness is going to end it will be because of relationships.

When we walk together nothing can stop the church.

The church is at its best serving one another.

Some times we need to go to the streets to serve.

Through relationships connections can be made not only between each other, but also with God!


Friday, June 27, 2014

Whose Got Talent? The Women of Caritas!!!

Last night we hosted a talent night for the women of Caritas.

All week Gina went around and asked the women if they had a talent that they would like to share on stage Thursday night.

The response was great!

We had about twelve different acts!

There was singing, comedy acts, a reading and even interpretive dance!

Tears were shed from the depths of one's soul as they performed their songs.

Laughter was heard through out, as profound words of wisdom came from the comedic routine.

The lady who self proclaimed herself as being the "crazy one" brought down the house!

She spoke the truth about her experience with her stay here and then performed her own interpretive dance.

A standing ovation at the end of her performance!

The women were awesome!

The emotions were raw but true!

Joy and laughter were over flowing in this place like never before.

It was a blessing to have witnessed something special!

My thanks goes out to Gina for putting it all together, but my heart goes out to the ladies that were brave enough to get up on that stage!

Whose got talent? The women of Caritas!

PS Thanks Mark for playing MC!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Where Do You Place Your Hope?

Monday night two more friends of mine came and shared their stories of life change.

They had amazing stories of how God had moved them along the path of hardship to a path of fulfillment, grace and hope.

There were tales of chasing men, abuse and no where to go.

Sleeping on couches became the routine.

Drugs and jail were part of the picture, but grace and redemption was the true celebration.

The stories were told from ladies that had turned their lives around as a result of their relationship with Jesus Christ.

On Monday we heard from two ladies that had gotten master degrees and graduated from Seminary.

Only God!

The stories connected with the women in the seats because the speakers had walked in their shoes. 

I looked out into the crowd and saw ladies nodding their heads in agreement with what was being said.

I was encouraged!

There is hope if you will focus that hope in God and not the things of the streets.

Thank you Qasarah and Denise for sharing your lives!

Monday, June 23, 2014

A Woman of Faith!

Last night during the evening a friend shared her life story with the women of Caritas.

She shared the harsh reality of having been homeless herself and all the things that led to her situation.

Drugs, abuse, jail and prostitution all played a role in her life.

Then God came into the picture and she saw Hope.

Her new name became Grace for the love God showed her.

She still has a long way to go, but she is well on her way down that road of peace and contentment.

She says she is only 2 seconds away from being homeless again, but she's not!

She is grateful for everything God has done in her life.

She counts the trials, as stepping stones in building her character and encouraging other women who are where she was. 

I am honored to know her and call her my sister in Christ.

Love you Liller!

Only God!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

They're Back!





The halls are lined up with luggage.

The rooms have mats, pillows and linens in them.

The kitchen has been prepped!

We are ready for 6 pm!

That's when 40 women will arrive from Caritas.

These women are homeless.

I am hoping that God will move like he did last time!

One woman's life is totally different than a month ago.

Will that happen again or something different?

Will the church step out in faith?

I am excited about having the ladies back and see what will happen.

The possibilities are endless!

We have some inspirational speakers coming Sunday and Monday night.

Movie night is Tuesday!

The band is playing on Wednesday night.

Thursday night the ladies will be hosting their very own talent night.

What a week!

Come by one evening and check out what's happening!

Atlee Community Church - Northminster Campus


Thursday, June 12, 2014

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Soccer and the Homeless

I love soccer.



I played in high school.



I love watching soccer on tv.



I can't wait for the world cup.



After this story I love soccer even more!



For Chile’s Homeless, Soccer Is More Than A Game | Only A Game

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Hope in One

There is always hope if your willing to walk along side the one in need.

We need to encourage and give hope to others.

Lives will be changed if we are willing to walk alongside someone.

Even the most harsh circumstances can be changed through God's love.

This story happens more than you know.

My friend Charles is working through the exact same circumstances with another individual as I write this.

This happens all around us, but we don't see it.

I used to never know of such because I was blind to it.

I never sought to help another person in need.

If we will focus on just ONE person we can change the world.

One person at a time.

Are you willing to step out of your comfort zone and change the world?

Give hope and encouragement to just one!

http://m.timesdispatch.com/news/local/city-of-richmond/homeless-teens-share-their-unique-challenges/article_498e7ce5-c0b5-5510-b89b-7941192a2c57.html?mode=jqm

Thursday, June 5, 2014

"Hope that it sparkes Hope"

http://www.yourdailyjournal.com/news/home_top-localnews1/4937235/Homeless-advocates-plan-tent-city#.U5BStJHD8m8

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Come Join Us as We Host Caritas for a Week!

If you have ever wanted to help the homeless in any way, come join us in less than three weeks. 

That's right the week of June 21 - 28 we will be hosting 40 women here at Atlee Community Church - Northminster Campus.

We are partnering with Caritas!





Below is the link to sign up and get involved!

Here's how it works in 3 easy steps: 

1. Click this link to go to our invitation page on VolunteerSpot: http://vols.pt/SPhbS4 

2. Enter your email address: (You will NOT need to register an account on VolunteerSpot) 

3. Sign up! Choose your spots - VolunteerSpot will send you an automated confirmation and reminders. Easy!

If you have any questions please contact me and I will be happy to answer any questions you may have.

Last month when we hosted this same event, a woman's life was changed forever!

I can't wait to see what will happen this month!

Monday, June 2, 2014

Hosting the Homeless

The week of June 21st - June 28th Atlee Community Church - Northminster Campus will be hosting Caritas (Local Homeless Shelter).

We hosted almost 40 women last month. 

I wrote something about it the other week.

If you are interested in walking along side these women for an evening or two please drop me a line and I will get you some more info.

This is not about just serving a meal. 

This is about caring enough about a person to make a difference in their lives, not yours.

I might be coming off a little strong, but there needs to be a change in how we serve each other.

The homeless are not some kind of disease.

This is not about how it makes you feel, but what it truly means to serve your fellow man.

This is about dignity, respect and most of all Love!

I know this might sound like I am standing on a soapbox preaching.

The truth is, I am confessing all the many thoughts I had about the homeless just three short years ago.

God has opened my eyes and my heart.

I view people through his eyes now and not my judgmental lenses!

If you want to be a part of life change then come out and join us.

The last time we hosted, lives were changed!

Not only the people who served, but a young woman is now in a home and employed!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

The End of Homelessness

Yesterday I mentioned how one lady's life was completely changed in less than a week.

Last week, Charles and I were observing the women from the shelter to see if any of them really wanted a change in their life.

One lady stood out.

Understand you can't help someone who does not want any help.

This lady was 20 years old, no criminal record, had a resume and a drivers licence.

We did an impromptu interview with her to find out more about her.

We then contacted a friend of mine from church, Carol.

Charles asked Carol if she would walk along side this young lady.

Carol jumped right in as she has done before with my friend David.

Things were falling into place.

Charles found a place for her to stay.

Carol was going to be a kind of mentor and now all we had to do was find her a job.

Three days later she got a job.

So in less than a week this lady went from homelessness to having a place to live, a job and a friend to walk with her.

It is so cool to see God work through his people when we all come together.

If you still are one of those pessimists that think we can't end homelessness, then you need to come hang out with Charles, Carol, myself and the rest of the gang!

Saturday, May 24, 2014

The Church needs to stop serving to and start serving with!

Last week Atlee Community Church - Northminster Campus played host to 38 homeless women for a week.

We hosted Caritas (The local homeless shelter) for women.

It happened rather quickly because Caritas had not found a church to partner with for that particular week.

I received an email while on vacation, so there was very little I could do being out of the country.

Gina (my assistant) and Charles (my best friend) stepped up to make it all happen.

I came home mid week to find out how great things were going.

The first night or so the ladies were given the opportunity for the very first time to cook their own meals.

This is somewhat of a foreign concept to most churches. 

We the church want to serve to/for someone, but not with someone.

The church always serves the meals.

New concept; ask the ladies if they want to prepare their meals?

The ladies absolutely loved it!

Volunteers came to participate and I was told they couldn't tell who was who.

That's a beautiful thing.

Another learning point came when circumstances forced us to put the ladies in four separate rooms instead of the usual one large room like the gym.

Guess what?

The ladies loved the rooms.

They felt as if they had some privacy.

That morning Charles and I were planning the next time we would host Caritas.

We figured we would put them all in the gym because it was easier for us.

We were not thinking from the women's prospective.

Guilty as charged.

We need to think from their perspective not ours.

Every evening a few ladies would come back early from their day and help prep the food for that night.

I learned a lot from this experience.

We need to think differently about how we serve one another.

We need to make respect and dignity a part of how we serve.

We need to stop the model of to and for and start with a new model of with.

Tomorrow I will share how one ladies life from last week is now totally different.

She's not in the shelter any more!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Creative Housing

Here is a follow up from an earlier post.

There are a lot more pictures of some very creative ideas in this post.

http://m.quickmeme.com/p/3vw4dt

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Friday, May 16, 2014

Hope for the Distraught

On the first of May I gave an update on Dave.

He had made his way back to Illinois.

He was so excited to be back home with his friends.

Dave was able to find temporary housing for a couple of months.

The other day he called me with more good news.

He got a starting job with the possibility of moving up into management.

Dave had tried for 2 1/2 years to find a job that he might enjoy.

He was so excited about life!

This is a new opportunity for Dave to start over after being homeless for years.

I am thankful that life is looking up for Dave!

There is always Hope in the worst of circumstances.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Homeless adults say having a dog helps each other survive

Dogs can be a companion to those on the streets. I have seen numerous dogs with people here in Hawaii.



Being a dog owner myself I can appreciate the companionship.



Homeless adults say having a dog helps each other survive

Friday, May 9, 2014

Police halt homeless feedings in Daytona Beach park | News-JournalOnline.com

Unfortunately this situation is playing out in many cities through out the country.


There are many positive points on both sides of the argument.


I have seen that we are under resourced in the Richmond area.


I have also seen that there are not enough coordinated efforts between the small non profits and the service providers.


The city could save a lot of money and get people in homes if they would take a stand for what is right.


There are no simple answers, but we need to have open dialogue and not let competition or funding get in the way of the bigger picture.


Ending Homelessness!



Police halt homeless feedings in Daytona Beach park | News-JournalOnline.com

Friday, May 2, 2014

The Work Being Done While on Vacation

I am so proud of my Church!

I am thousands of miles away and wish I could be a part of what will happen in just over a week's time.

Just yesterday I received an email asking if we could help with the local homeless shelter.

They needed a church at the last minute to host 30-40 women who are in transition for a week.

I was at a loss since I am halfway across the world.

In my absence my Church has stepped up to help the homeless.

I have dreamed of this day coming, but assumed I would be there to participate.

God always seems to surprise me.

To see the Church step up in this way is a beautiful thing.

It represents the Church at its best, helping the "the least of these".

I pray that the Church will love on these women in a way that they will know they are loved by God!

Thank you Atlee Community Church for being the Church!

The Church is truly the hope of the world!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

He's Home! A LONG Trip!

had asked Dave if he had made it home?

I just got the text.

"Yes"

This is an exciting time for Dave! He is back in his home town for the first time in years!

I met Dave just over a year ago. He had been living at Freedom house up until the time they shut it down.

He then moved into Caritas, the homeless shelter.

After that he began living in his car.

When the car broke down he had no where to go.

He had been through most of the shelters in town.

I was concerned that he wouldn't make it on the streets.

Not everyone can survive in the harsh reality of the concrete and asphalt world.

Dave was able to get into Good Samaritan Ministries.

He has spent the last eight months there.

Last week he left there and headed to another shelter in hopes of buying some time.

He had prepurchased a bus ticket home. 

The ticket wasn't eligible to be redeemed for a couple of days.

Now that day has come and he's home! 

I pray that he can find the help he needs. He has some old friends there.

I pray that they will surround him with love.

Dave I wish you all the best! 

"Trust in The Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will keep your paths straight."

Monday, April 28, 2014

Save the City some Big Bucks!

Statistics don't lie. Housing First can save money!

I like the concept and I have seen it played out here in Richmond and Charlottesville.

Unfortunately the bureaucracy can get in the way and make things look really bad.

I saw an apartment complex in Charlottesville that had an apartment that was fully furnished and no one in it. 

There was even a waiting list of homeless wanting to get in. 

Bureaucracy got in the way and the apartment sits empty for months on end!

Fully furnished and ready to go, but no one is home!

That is not right!

Study: Charlotte's apartments for homeless save money | CharlotteObserver.com

Thursday, April 24, 2014

The Power of Prayer!!!

For two and half years I have prayed for a church which at the 

beginning, I knew nothing about. 

Along the way I have seen God's hand at work over and over again.

Today I stand in awe of what God has done to this day.

I now am humbled by God, as he has appointed me to lead this 

same church.

Along the way I have met people who have earnestly prayed for 

this church over the years. 

Many of whom did not even attend the church. 

They were seeking God to bring back a new life and new direction 

for this place.

Many people have poured out their lives for this place called 

Northminster.



I have met people who have grown up here for close to 90+ 

years.

This is their home. 

The only church they have known.

I pray that I might honor those that have gone before me and those 

that will join me into a new future.

These are exciting times, for God is hearing the prayers of those 

that have earnestly sought him.

This is not an end to an era, but a start to something new and fresh.

I pray for God's direction and wisdom as we move forward into this 

new chapter.

God has heard the prayers of many and we are moving forward into

new uncharted waters, but with a God who hears our prayers!