Well, it was just a matter of time. We knew the wintry weather was coming, and now it’s here. A crippling blizzard just hit the East Coast and bitter cold temperatures have spread across the entire country over the past month.
This kind of weather sends the nation’s homeless on a desperate search for shelter and a hot meal. And, who can blame them? Men, women and children are flooding homeless shelters throughout the country — filling them to capacity. Ironically, New York City’s annual homeless census had to be postponed because of the historic storm that was forecast for that region.
For organizations like ours, the Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries (DRMM), It’s important that we not only provide the homeless with a warm respite from the deadly winter weather, but that we also provide them with an opportunity to permanently change their circumstances and get on the road to a new life. Simply giving them a place to warm up and then eventually sending them back out into the cold is counterproductive to their growth and success as valuable citizens.
DRMM is doing what we can to save and rehabilitate lives. We have been around for 106 years. We know how to help the homeless, and we know how to serve them. Shelters, substance abuse treatment, mental health programs, and career training are all very important components in a homeless person’s journey from hopelessness to hope.
We don’t turn anyone away at DRMM, even if we have to put mattresses and blankets on the floor or set up extra chairs so that the homeless can rest and sleep.
For the homeless, winter is all about survival.
For us, it’s always about saving — and changing — lives!