It was Howard Thurman who wrote,
“It is only when people live in an environment in which they are not required to exert supreme effort into just keeping alive that they seem to be able to selects ends besides those of mere physical survival.”
Our work with A Night’s Welcome winter shelter helps those who are literally homeless take their minds off of ‘just keeping alive’ and have a chance to step back and analyze their situation and see a way out. Last year, we provided over 5,500 bed nights of shelter, our churches provided over 11,000 meals, and we met 0ver 250 individuals who just needed a hand. Some we were able to help find more permanent housing solutions (almost 40 people!), but many weren’t able to identify the next step.
Make no mistake: WE NEED YOUR HELP!!
So what’s the strategy to create more positive change this year? It’s both simple and complicated. Simple–focus on case management and working with our cooperating agencies to ensure people are accessing the resources and services they both need and may be entitled to.
Complicated–digging into people’s current situations to find out what the real barriers to care are and finding ways to dismantle and overcome those barriers.
We are blessed to have an intern focusing on Social Work and Case Management this year who will be working with us to ensure that everyone’s situation is heard and addressed as best as possible. We continue to have strong relationships with the Community Services Board outreach and Hampton Human Services homelessness outreach workers. We want to see tangible results in the lives of those in need.
So how can you help? We need people to help our churches in any and every way possible. Can you afford an extra pair of socks or underwear when you go to the store? Can you spare a night to come help cook a meal or come in before work to help prepare breakfast? Can you spend the night at a church to help with night watch? Can you come and give haircuts? Budgeting assistance? Conversation?
We’ve all got something to give. What’s your gift going to be?