By Dr. Chad Audi
Think about the last time you helped someone out. How did it make you — and the other person — feel? Chances are you experienced the satisfaction of doing something worthwhile and the person you helped was greatly appreciative.
The willingness to help others is a wonderful quality. God praises those who lend a helping hand. I get a good feeling knowing that the Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries (DRMM) is helping someone in need every single day. Our country’s sinking economy is causing more and more people to come to our doors looking for a warm place to sleep and a hot meal to satisfy their hunger.
Reaching out to others is definitely one of the special qualities God looks for in His children. Flashing a simple smile and nodding hello to a stranger on the street, complimenting a co-worker, or volunteering your time at a non-profit organization like DRMM are just some of the little things you can do to show others you care. Believe me, it can make all the difference in the world.
Volunteering can also help change a life. Tutoring a young child increases the chances that he or she will have a promising future. Cooking meals for the homeless provides them with the physical strength to survive. And ministering to the disadvantaged will build up their self-worth and spirituality. In the end, lives are touched and you have done a good deed.
DRMM is blessed to have volunteers and donors helping us in our mission of rebuilding lives. For example, take a look at this video.
Are you willing to open up your heart and give of your time to help others? I guarantee your life will also change in the process.
By Dr. Chad Audi
You’ve heard the saying, “Children are our future,” but it’s getting increasingly difficult for kids to get the proper education and home life needed to become successful. In fact, many don’t even have a place to call home. A recent report from the National Center on Family Homelessness shows one of every 50 children in America experienced homelessness from 2005-2006. That means about 1.5 million children were impacted by homelessness at least once during that period. That’s astonishing!
The report indicates several states do not have adequate plans to address the problem of homeless children. And it’s a problem that is worsening because of foreclosures and job losses. The 2006 data show Hurricane Katrina was a major factor. Because of the upheaval caused by the catastrophic storm, Louisiana had the most homeless children per capita, followed by Texas and California.
Children are greatly affected by homelessness. He or she can have problems in school, making it hard for them to grasp the academic tools they need. The National Center on Family Homelessness report says homeless children are far more likely than other children to repeat a grade and drop out. Additionally, they are more likely to suffer from hunger and chronic health problems.
The report shows a need for more homeless shelters that cater to families, along with more extensive state plans to curb child homelessness. It recommends increased federal spending on low-income housing, assistance to struggling renters and homeowners, and investment in child care for homeless children. At Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries (DRMM), we provide entire families with shelter, food, clothes and medical assistance. We make sure the kids have access to academic, recreational and drug/alcohol prevention services.
Is it possible to end homelessness for all U.S. children? That’s a difficult question, but the entire country must begin to help these innocent victims.
By Dr. Chad Audi
President Barack Obama’s administration has already made moves to help the nation’s homeless. Last month, the President awarded nearly $1.6 billion in homeless grants to thousands of local housing and service programs across the nation. The funds, administered through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Continuum of Care programs, will help hundreds of thousands of homeless individuals and families find stable homes and much-needed services. An additional $1.5 billion in funding has been earmarked for homeless prevention as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, which was signed into law by President Obama.
During a time of record home foreclosures and unemployment, this assistance could not have come at a more critical time. It’s estimated about 6,300 projects that assist the homeless will benefit from the HUD grants. Here in Michigan, we have been hit harder economically than most other states. With an 11.6% unemployment rate, many families in our state are losing dual incomes and facing homelessness. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 offers quick housing assistance to those dealing with a sudden economic crisis — especially families with children. The recovery plan includes short-term rental assistance, housing relocation, or security and utility deposits. A pilot program to rapidly re-house homeless families will be created in the Kalamazoo County/Portage area.
Specifically, the HUD homeless grants will be awarded to programs that target:
- Chronic homelessness
- Permanent housing solutions
- Families with children
- Homeless veterans
- Housing and support services for severely mentally ill clients
- Homeless individuals with substance abuse problems
This encouraging news of additional homeless funding from the Obama administration comes as we watch in amazement as a “Tent City” takes shape in Sacramento, California. The pictures are unbelievable. So are the numbers. Each week, 20 to 50 people are setting up tents along Sacramento’s American River Parkway. They are people who have lost their homes and jobs and have no where else to go. What a sad sign of the times. I’ll write more about this later.
By Dr. Chad Audi
We all know that drug addiction can lead to homelessness and a multitude of other afflictions. Substance abuse can rob a person of his or her health, mental capacity, lifestyle and hopes for the future. At Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries (DRMM), we provide substance abuse treatment to thousands of people from various walks of life. Drug addiction is an “equal opportunity” disease. It doesn’t discriminate. No matter what ethnicity, gender or age, you can succumb to substance abuse and its negative impact.
Some treatment programs help people get off drugs for a short period of time and then they return to the streets and often to their former lifestyle. That type of treatment is simply not enough to turn around a life, especially after years of drug abuse. You have to provide addicts with the tools to kick their drug habits permanently. That means offering a continuum of care that includes life skills, job training, academic courses and spiritual counseling.
That’s what we do at DRMM. Our focus is on helping people become functional and contributing members of society. That’s the only way to conquer the substance abuse that has held them down for so long. Our detoxification program and 90-day in-patient treatment are followed by intensive case management and aftercare services. Community collaborations are essential in regaining and maintaining this sobriety. Whether it’s the Health Department, Corrections Department or Housing Department, we all have to work together to assist in recovery efforts.
It is also extremely important for recovering addicts to reconnect with their families, churches and the community. They need to know that someone cares about them and their future. Everyone has the right to put a negative past behind them and move on to a positive, new beginning —much like the woman in this video who came to DRMM to beat a longtime drug addiction: http://www.metacafe.com/watch/1288082/drmm_services_with_elaine_s_story/
And that’s just one person’s story. There are thousands more like it! Help us help them by supporting our mission and keeping us in your prayers.