Homelessness is a problem everywhere. I know that we typically think of homeless people as old men dealing with substance abuse problems, but that’s not true. Any one of us could end up homeless, given a certain set of circumstances. Job loss, bankruptcy, marital breakup, and domestic abuse; when these things happen to people who have no support system of family or close friends, the street can sometimes be the only option.
Here in Fargo, homelessness can be deadly. We saw this recently with the discovery of a woman’s body in a car in south Fargo. She was a woman who had struggled with addictions. There was an article in the Forum last week by columnist Mike McFeely about how several concerned people reached out to the coroner’s office to ask if she was going to have a funeral and were willing to help if necessary. Mike pointed out, “How Fargo of us. We are a caring people, willing to assist those in need.”
Then, he went on to ask: “But what if we don’t hear about it? What if the hardship of someone’s life doesn’t make the newspaper or the 10 o’clock news? What happens to those people?”
I think those are very good questions. I believe those of us who are followers of Jesus have a responsibility to seek out ways to come alongside organizations who are dedicated to helping the homeless. There are many such organizations in the F-M area such as New Life Center, Churches United for the Homeless, and many other. Furthermore, they rely on donations to carry out their good work. Would you consider donating to one of more of these organizations on Giving Hearts Day? I’m planning to.
The good news is that people don’t have to remain homeless. Organizations such as Down Home are helping people transition into permanent housing. We’re partnering with them all this month during their Fill the Home Drive, collecting donations of new queen and twin sheet sets and mattress pads, as well as cash donations to help buy mattresses, from our listeners. Details are on our website.
Yes, there are needs all around us, more than we can imagine. We can all find ways to help and I pray that we all look for those ways this month and all year long. As Jesus reminded us in Matthew 25, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”
Yours in Christ,