If I'm about anything as a solution seeker, I'm about that....what's the solution; what can we do?
I think the first thing is to just drop the stigma. I think we assume that people who are homeless did something to be in that condition. And, maybe they did. But, maybe not. I think its like any condition that our population faces - sometimes things just happen. So, changing our mindset is where we begin.
Stop and read this article. Its a great practical list. Made me stop in my tracks and really opened my eyes to some practical things we can do in every community to change lives, add kindness and bring dignity!
Here are some organizations in Northwest Arkansas doing it well. (Shared with permission from the Fayetteville Community Pastor at Fellowship Bible Church of Northwest Arkansas)
- LifeSource International
- South Church
- Potter’s House
- Seven Hills
LUNCH ANGEL PROGRAM - Seven Hills Homeless Center serves lunches to 75-100 plus homeless and near homeless people every Friday and Saturday at 11:30 am. The Friday meal is served at Seven Hills day center located at 1555 MLK Blvd. On Saturdays the Wiggins United Methodist Church, 205 MLK Blvd., has graciously opened its fellowship facility to host our meals. These meals are made possible by Lunch Angels. Our Lunch Angels are typically groups or organizations that are responsible for a meal on a given day every month. We also have substitute Lunch Angels that are willing to fill in at those times when the regular Angels are unable to provide the meal. We always welcome new groups that want the opportunity to provide a meal. If there is not an opening currently, contact information is taken so that we can reach you when an opportunity arises. Lunch Angels provide the food, prepare the meal off-site, deliver it ready to eat and then serve. Seven Hills at times receives food donations that Lunch Angels may use, as available, in preparing meals. The groups may either furnish paper plates, napkins and plastic silverware or use those items donated to and stored at Seven Hills. Melissa Moon at 479-251-7776 or at email@example.com.
If you don't live in Northwest Arkansas, there are services like this in your own back yard. As I've mentioned a couple times this month, this is an every-town issue. If you asked the Guidance Counselor at your kids school, they could name families living in cars. If you asked the pastor at any local church, they could mention a family who has stopped by and needed help with groceries. If you talked to the guy who locks up buildings on main street, he could share stories of people he has seen hiding and sleeping in alley ways.
And, if you are confused why it all matters, again let me point you to the 2015 Homeless Census report, the Homeless Shelter Directory and invite you to sit down with Same Kind of Different As Me, a book that changed the way I look at ALL people! There is a good soul in each of us. There is light in each of our eyes that wants what is good and right and true. And we each deserve it!
This post is part of the #NWArkCares series by the Northwest Arkansas Bloggers group. To view other posts, visit the Northwest Arkansas Bloggers Pinterest Board or follow #NWArkCares through social media.