Tuesday, December 30, 2014
Saturday, December 27, 2014
Tuesday, December 23, 2014
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
Wednesday, December 17, 2014
Tuesday, December 16, 2014
Tuesday, December 9, 2014
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!
Sunday, December 7, 2014
Thursday, December 4, 2014
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.
Let's love our neighbors!
Wednesday, December 3, 2014
Friday, November 28, 2014
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
Russell Brand had some interesting things to say about how our society is treating 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.
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.
Thursday, November 27, 2014
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.
I would love to see more.
Do you have any ideas?
Monday, November 24, 2014
Virginia homeless man posts on Facebook seeking family for Thanksgiving, finds match | syracuse.com
Wednesday, November 19, 2014
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.
Monday, November 17, 2014
Sunday, November 16, 2014
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.
Monday, November 10, 2014
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
Sunday, November 9, 2014
Saturday, November 8, 2014
This is a story with a great ending!
Homeless teen finds sister but that's not the best part
Wednesday, November 5, 2014
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.
Tuesday, November 4, 2014
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
2 Guys Outfit Their Van With Washer and Dryer for Brisbane Homeless
Thursday, October 23, 2014
There is a true need to provide affordable transportation for people who need jobs.
Wednesday, October 15, 2014
Monday, October 13, 2014
I love the teacher's heart. I can see it through what is said and done!
Sunday, October 12, 2014
Saturday, October 11, 2014
LA is moving in the right direction with this complex.
Wednesday, October 8, 2014
Friday, October 3, 2014
Tuesday, September 30, 2014
Saturday, September 27, 2014
Friday, September 26, 2014
Virginia Moves To End Veteran Homelessness By The End Of 2015 | AlexandriaNews
Thursday, September 25, 2014
Tuesday, September 23, 2014
Tuesday, September 16, 2014
When People Give This Homeless Guy Money, He Does Something I’ve Never Seen Before–And People Can’t Believe It | Faithit: Change the World. Share What Matters.
Thursday, September 11, 2014
Monday, September 8, 2014
Saturday, August 30, 2014
Saturday, August 23, 2014
Thursday, August 21, 2014
We will never know how many folks are living in hotels.
Support flows for brothers told to stop singing for family - NBC12.com - Richmond, VA News
Tuesday, August 19, 2014
Monday, August 18, 2014
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!
Sunday, August 17, 2014
Tuesday, August 12, 2014
Monday, August 11, 2014
Sunday, August 3, 2014
Friday, August 1, 2014
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.
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
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.
Wednesday, July 23, 2014
This is true of myself.
This video speaks for itself!
Tuesday, July 22, 2014
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
It's very encouraging to read about folks who care and want to make a difference!
This story reminds me of a local non-profit called Camp Hope!
For homeless children, Stanly County camp brings pride | CharlotteObserver.com
Thursday, July 17, 2014
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.
Tuesday, July 15, 2014
Sunday, July 13, 2014
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.
Tuesday, July 8, 2014
Monday, July 7, 2014
Friday, July 4, 2014
Tuesday, July 1, 2014
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.
Friday, June 27, 2014
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
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.
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
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!
Saturday, June 21, 2014
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
Wednesday, June 18, 2014
Tuesday, June 17, 2014
Saturday, June 14, 2014
Thursday, June 12, 2014
I agree that there has to be more awareness given to the plight of the homeless.
This is a great tool to help make that happen!
Dallas library gives homeless their own podcast | Dallas Morning News
Tuesday, June 10, 2014
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
Monday, June 9, 2014
Sunday, June 8, 2014
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!
Friday, June 6, 2014
Thursday, June 5, 2014
Tuesday, June 3, 2014
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
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!
Thursday, May 29, 2014
When are we going to wake up and take the steps to be fiscally responsible not to mention a people who care!
Monday, May 26, 2014
What would a post office look like at Northminster?
Pragmatic Pastor Turned Postman to Help the Homeless | Liz Dow
Sunday, May 25, 2014
Understand you can't help someone who does not want any help.
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 always serves the meals.
New concept; ask the ladies if they want to prepare their meals?
The ladies loved the rooms.
Tuesday, May 20, 2014
Saturday, May 17, 2014
We just need to come together and make it happen!
Austin's Utopian Homeless Village Is Becoming A Reality
Friday, May 16, 2014
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.
Wednesday, May 14, 2014
Tuesday, May 13, 2014
Sunday, May 11, 2014
Being a dog owner myself I can appreciate the companionship.
Homeless adults say having a dog helps each other survive
Friday, May 9, 2014
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.
Thursday, May 8, 2014
Sunday, May 4, 2014
Saturday, May 3, 2014
Friday, May 2, 2014
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
Wednesday, April 30, 2014
Monday, April 28, 2014
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
Saturday, April 26, 2014
Thursday, April 24, 2014
beginning, I knew nothing about.
this church over the years.
Many of whom did not even attend the church.
for this place.
that will join me into a new future.
that have earnestly sought him.
new uncharted waters, but with a God who hears our prayers!