On the other hand, homelessness can result from an individual's own bad choices. Although some homeless people may be dangerous, they are more frequently targets of abuse and street crime. They can feel very isolated and become concerned for their physical safety and the security of the few belongings they may have.
Whatever the circumstances of their homelessness, these men and women really need our help! But what can one person do?
Below are some ways that you can help the homeless and poor people in our community:
1. Remember that the homeless are all individuals with individual needs.
2. Treat the homeless kindly and with respect--they may go days without any positive contact with another person.
3. Instead of cash, provide a sandwich and a cup of coffee, a blanket on a cold night or a gift certificate to a nearby fast-food restaurant. Or direct them to the Rescue Mission where they can get the services they need. Even a hungry person might convert cash to drugs or alcohol.
4. Take precautions for your own safety--some homeless people may be fearful, angry or paranoid.
5. Remember, and remind them, that God loves them.
6. Keep them in your prayers.
7. Educate the young people in your life about the issues of homelessness and encourage their involvement in caring for the needy.
8. Volunteer your professional abilities or interests--we can use a wide range of skills!
9. Provide clothing and household items which can be distributed to the needy or sold to support our various services.
10. Support the Rescue Mission's 365-day-a-year ministry to people in need with your contributions and your prayers.
RM Statistics from 2008:
217,374 meals served to hungry people
65,435 overnight stays provided (including 40,158 in emergency shelter)
110 men sheltered on average per night
1,155 individuals sheltered--47 percent of them new to the RM
74,640 admissions to day center
4,700 transports provided for needy people
294 homeless people assisted in obtaining apartments in the community
95,939 articles of clothing given away
5,436 household items distributed
415 pieces of furniture delivered
67 men lived in our adult home
46 men stayed in our long-term residence
583 men and women used RM educational and vocational services
32 progressed in English, writing, reading and mathematics skills
199 obtained employment through our educational and vocational staff
20 completed food preparation and cooking school
599 vehicles given to auto donation center