HOPE NOT HELPLESS IN HOMELESSNESS

INTRODUCTION

There is an every growing population of homeless people.  We see pan handlers on the street showing their signs that that they are homeless, lost their job, have children to feed or simply down on their luck.  Being homeless does not necessarily mean you have no place to stay, it means the place you are staying at is not yours.  We hear and read stories all the time about a person or family being homeless.  When the economy went bust in 2008 many families found themselves homeless or on the brink of it due to foreclosures, loss of jobs and income.

OUR STORY

Ted Williams the man with the Golden Voice is a prime example of working and being successful and then losing it all.  Although he fell victim to drugs, many homeless people work every day and still don’t have a place they can call home.

Ted at the end of the days says he still have hope and although he is no longer homeless he realizes he could be and he must fight, pray, and work everyday by taking it day by day as to not end up the way he did before.

Ted is a father, was a husband, had a successful career in radio, but one day he smoked crack cocaine and the rest is history.  He began to spirral out of his own life into a life he did not imagine for himself.  He lost everything and spend the next 20 years in imaginable places doing imaginable things to get high.

Ted6_20150301_151738

Homeless, overcomer, hopeful

 MBasele MAR2015

Menelika Basielle worked all her life, has an education and when her husband walked out on her she found herself homeless.  Today she thanks God for her daughter who has taken her in and given her a roof over her head.

This is what Menelika had to say about her situation

It is life changing when you are nearing “retirement age”, have worked hard all of your life, acquired what is considered a good education in society, marry someone you love who you think loves you back, attempt to do the right thing in taking on their young children, etc., “FOR BETTER OR FOR WORSE”, only to find out that this mate of yours is only out to get over. By getting over I mean that their hidden agenda is to get a green card in this country and to use and abuse you in every way imaginable – emotionally, spiritually and physically.  My former spouse bore the prestigious titles of “Pastor and Chaplain”.  When these wolves come dressed in sheep clothing, the deceit is incredulous!

 However, while I may have lost everything materially, I thank God that though I came dangerously close, I did not lose my SANITY and my SOUL SALVATION.  A few years forward, I can honestly say, in the midst of my pain, that this experience that almost caused me to walk away from my Faith, has caused me to go even deeper into my Relationship with my Personal Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  And my grandmother was right in her wisdom ~ “THAT WHICH DOES NOT KILL YOU, SHALL MAKE YOU STRONGER”. She just did not tell me that I would have to have a NDE-Near Death Experience to get there. J

 Currently I live with one of my children and is the first time in my life that I do not have my own home/place to live since I left for college at age 16.  While it is shocking, I am learning that so many people are finding themselves close to or at this point of home-less-ness as well for one reason or another.

Mickey an eight year old boy tells his story about being homeless through a book.  Both his parents didn’t have a high school education, they did not have enough money to pay their bills and found themselves in a homeless situation.  They have been from shelter to shelter trying to pull it together.  It ain’t easy when you have four children, but somehow through the help of agencies things are turning around for them.

Mickey2_20150301_135618

Here we see three very different stories, people who look like you and me and somehow they found themselves in a homeless situation.

AGENCY ADVOCATES

There are many agencies that provide temporary housing for people that have hit a bump in the road.  However, these shelters are very temporary.  You might can stay for two weeks up to a year, but in most cases you have to leave at some point.  These shelters and Churches are trying to do the best they can to help this debilitating social evil.  However, more is needed.

ANOTHER HOPE HAVEN

ANOTHER HOPE HAVEN

Carver Memorial Church in Newport News, VA is doing there part.  They are working with local Churches to house the homeless particularly during the winter months.  Then other Churches take two weeks and also assist in providing quality meals.

Menchville_20150305_122349 Menchville2_20150305_122438

Here is Menchville House Ministries in Newport News, VA.  This is a long term shelter that assist families with getting back on their feet and providing them with a place they can call home.  Again the difficult part in these shelters and housing arrangements is they have to leave at some point.  Then what next?

“The Virginia Coalition to End Homeless is dedicated to preventing and ending homelessness in the Commonwealth of Virginia through community collaboration, capacity building, education and advocacy.”

They are the only statewide nonprofit organization “unifying their interest of all concerned with homelessness to bring the most effective and cost-effective policies, systems, and services into practice across the Commonwealth”

http://www.vceh.org/

Virginia 2-1-1 is another resources that is working to help with resources and questions to assist those that are or could be facing homelessness

https://211.getcare.com/211provider/consumer/index211.do

It is estimated that there are approximately 3,585 homeless shelters and social services.  Think about that for a moment, 52 states and only 3, 585 shelters and social services, looks like a mismatch to me.  Yet it is estimated there are approximately 1.5 million homeless Americans.

http://www.homelessshelterdirectory.org/

Ending and working with homelessness is a never ending battle, not just in Virginia but all over the world.  There are several initiatives to end homelessness but it will never end.  The Bible tells us the “poor will be with us always”.

Everyone can play a part by volunteering and donating!

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