Homelessness is the root cause of many other problems in our communities. For example, homelessness can cause health issues and drug addiction and is a driving force in the foster care crisis (parents who have their children removed by a court are generally required to have stable housing prior to closing their case with the Department of Child Services or similar agency).
In 2013, a homeless man in Jefferson County died due to exposure to cold weather. Brenna and Vinal Lee of the Salvation Army decided that this would never happen again, and they have taken point on helping homeless individuals ever since. By the way, the Salvation Army won the 2018 Nonprofit of the Year award from the local Chamber of Commerce for their service to the community.
In this episode, I interview Vinal and Brenna about their work with the homeless and how churches and individual Christians can help evict homelessness from their community.
- Homelessness comes with a stigma in a land where the American “dream” includes ever-increasing square footage in our single-family homes. Yet, Jesus was, according to HUD’s current definition (see below), homeless (Matt. 8:20).
- Homelessness has complex causes, including addiction, mental health, domestic abuse and economic uncertainty.
- The HUD definition of homeless includes those that live on the streets, those that “couch-surf” or live in places unfit for human habitation.
- Practical tips on how you or your church can partner with organizations like the Salvation Army to end homelessness.
- If you truly want to help people out of poverty, a safe, secure place to stay is the #1 priority.