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.

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 |

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 |

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.


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."