Random thoughts on Life, Leadership, & Messy Spirituality

Helping the Homeless this Christmas

Here in the Greater Atlanta area, homelessness is a serious epidemic. Experts estimate that we have approximately 20,000 homeless people in Greater Atlanta. With only 3,500 shelter beds available in the area, that leaves several thousand homeless Atlantans with nowhere to sleep at night. AND – here we are barreling full steam ahead into winter.

Many people suffer from the misconception that homeless people are too lazy to work or addicted to drugs. However, many homeless people are victims of job loss, physical illness, domestic violence, etc. In fact, statistics tell us 40% of these homeless people are women & children! Think about that! Also, approx. 50% of these homeless people work – they have jobs!

The problem is that most are earning minimum wage. One wage earner being paid the state’s minimum wage ($6.55/hour) would need to work 85 hours per week to afford a two-bedroom apartment. Even with two full-time minimum-wage earners, decent housing is not attainable in most places in Greater Atlanta. Therefore, we have an epidemic of families living in their cars or on the streets.

Last night while watching my kids play in the comfort of our warm home, I thought about all those families & people living on the streets. It was cold & raining last night here in the Atlanta area. And I thought about how it wouldn’t take much in today’s economic climate for any of our families to find ourselves in the same situation.

I will be talking about some of this & how we can show care to those in need/”the least of these” this Sunday at Eagle Pointe, as we continue our “Let It Be…Christmas” series. As well, your generous gifts towards our “Serve the World Christmas Offering” will help us & our ministry partners continue to assist homeless people & families in 2012. (You can DONATE ONLINE & please check out the blog series I did…  “Serve the World: Christmas Offering – Part 1,  Part 2,  Part 3  Part 4, & Part 5.”)

In addition to that, I want to challenge you to do something right now, today & this week, in order to help the homeless.

We’re collecting supplies for Winter Survival Kits for the Homeless. We need Jackets/sweaters, Ponchos, Gloves & Hats, Hand & feet Warmers, Blankets, Socks, Wipes, Batteries AA & AAA, etc. You can drop supplies at Eagle Pointe church this week from 6:30AM – 6:00PM.

This Saturday Dec. 10th at 9AM we will be putting together the Winter Survival Kits at The Extension. Then at 4PM we will be giving out these kits to area homeless people at Must Ministries.

Please contact Rusty Draper (678) 551-9736 if you would like to help on Saturday – we do need several volunteers.

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2 responses

  1. i really symphatized to all needy and homeless people in Atlanta,praying for you guys.
    your in our prayer this christmas.God original entention for everyone of us is to stay a paradise and we know in paradise theres refreshing and God will embrace and love all homeless.through Gods people who have the tree of Life(Jesus the tree of LIfe in Revelation)we have the four rivers that flows inside of us that can water to those who are in need,the earth is groaneth and waiteth for the manifestation of the son of God.

    December 7, 2011 at 2:30 pm

  2. Sandy Dame

    Pastor Howard, Thanks for this post as there are so many that have misconceptions about the homeless… many of these people are just like you and me and everyone else out there. They have just come upon some hard times and most of them are working to get back into some kind of housing but with the economy the way it is they are finding it to be to diffcult. I have been working with Simple Needs now for many months and there are many in need of stuff to set up a household because they have managed to get an apartment but there are still way to many that are living out in the woods, in cars and abandoned buildings. My heart truly goes out to these people as I know what that feeling can be like. I have been unemployeed now since Jan and I’m just barely holding it together myself. I many not have alot to give but the things that I can give is my heart, my time, my prayers and a warm blanket. It’s my love for Jesus and his love for me that carries me through these diffcult times and I want to let others know that they are not alone. If we all could do a small thing to help it would make this world a much better place.

    December 7, 2011 at 10:07 pm

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