Monthly Archives: May 2014

Feeding the Homeless

by Dr. Chad Audi

Feeding the homeless caused quite a controversy recently in Daytona Beach, Florida. A local law prohibits individuals from sharing food with homeless people in public places, but Debbie and Chico Jimenez chose to violate the law when they gave food to about 100 homeless people at a park. It’s something they have been doing for the past year. This time, the couple — who operate a local ministry to help the impoverished — and four friends were charged and fined $2,000. Eventually, the charges and fines were dismissed. And, the Jimenezes have vowed to apply for the proper city permit to continue feeding the homeless in the park.

This has long been a hot button issue all over the country. Should you feed the homeless or give them money when there are agencies like ours — Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries (DRMM) — that provide them with food, shelter, clean clothing, showers, beds, and job training opportunities? Is it a better idea to direct the homeless to go to DRMM and similar organizations?

In the Florida case, the local ordinance instructs people who want to perform acts of kindness or charity to coordinate their efforts with local social service agencies.

It’s a difficult question, because we know that not all homeless people want to follow the rules that will be imposed upon them in emergency shelters. Not all homeless people have made up their minds that they want to turn around their lives. And, some are still caught up in their addictions and likely will spend any donated money in counterproductive ways.

Additionally, feeding the homeless in public or giving them a few dollars is a temporary fix. The next day they will be looking for the next benevolent giver. DRMM seeks to provide the homeless with permanent solutions that will get them off the streets and into homes, careers, and productive lives.

I’m curious, what do you think about individuals feeding the homeless in public places or giving them money?

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A New Beginning

by Dr. Chad Audi

We’ve entered the graduation season — a time filled with hope and dreams for the future. High school seniors are looking forward to attending college in the fall, and college graduates are anticipating landing their first “real” job.

It’s also graduation time here at the Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries (DRMM). More than 400 of our clients are graduating from a variety of career training, housing, and treatment and counseling programs. We present them with a certificate to recognize that they have taken the next step toward new and improved lives. For many, it’s their first time completing anything successfully and getting something to show for it.

The majority of men and women who come to DRMM were once homeless — living on the streets or staying night after night with various relatives and friends. Many have struggled with addictions, faced joblessness or just given up on life. When they come here, we show them that all is not lost. Their hopes and dreams can come true.

Everyone has dreams. The difference is some people let distractions and disappointments keep them from achieving their goals.

But there comes a time in all of our lives when we realize that we must gather the courage to pursue our dreams. That is a life-changing moment.

The DRMM graduation ceremony represents a major turning point for our clients. The certificate they receive gives them the courage to know their dreams really are attainable. It is a powerful piece of paper.

If you know a graduate — either from an academic institution or from the “school of life” — take a moment to wish them continued success and encourage them to never give up on their dreams. Graduation is not the end; it’s a new beginning.

 

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