Tag Archives: addiction

New Beginnings

by Dr. Chad Audi

Many people look forward to this time of year. A new year is approaching, and it offers the opportune time for new beginnings.

For the homeless in this country, we pray that 2016 will bring them hope and help. Ours is a God of second chances. So, anything is possible. He is patient, merciful, gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness. The disadvantaged are His children, too. They deserve love and opportunities.

Here at the Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries (DRMM), we believe in second chances, and third chances, and so on. We are in the business of rebuilding lives, one at a time. DRMM provides the tools that the homeless need to get back on their feet: a hot shower, food, clothing, counseling, career training, medical and dental assistance, substance abuse treatment, and spiritual nourishment.

We don’t know what 2016 will bring, but our New Year’s wish is that more people will escape the hardships of poverty, unemployment and addiction that often lead to homelessness.

Perhaps one of your New Year’s resolutions can be to help the homeless and others in need. Consider supporting the important work of non-profit organizations like DRMM through donations and volunteering. Your commitment will help change lives.

Sure, you can still make your resolution to give up a personal, bad habit. But at the same time, resolve to give to others for the New Year.

May God shower you with blessings today and into 2016.

Dr. Chad Audi

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Veterans Stand Down

by Dr. Chad Audi

As we approach the national day of recognition for our military veterans, Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries (DRMM) is proud to have served our homeless veterans during a recent event in Detroit. The two-day event is sponsored by the Southeastern Michigan Veterans Stand Down, and it gives the veterans an opportunity to get off the streets and get services, respite and hope.

Service providers like DRMM provide the veterans with housing, medical, employment, legal, and job training information. In addition, the homeless veterans receive a hot lunch, a bag lunch to go, and haircuts.

In military jargon, a “stand down” refers to moving exhausted soldiers from the battlefield to a secure place where they can rest and recover. In that same manner, this event is also called a Stand Down, where homeless veterans can get away from the stresses of life on the street and receive some rest and relaxation in camaraderie with each other.

You have read about my concerns over the treatment of our military veterans many times in this blog. They put their lives on the line for our freedom, and they certainly deserve better opportunities when they return to civilian life. Veterans need jobs, housing, medical care, substance abuse treatment, career training, and much more.

The National Coalition for Homeless Veterans just wrapped up its summit in Washington, D.C., to address the housing needs of veterans, as we count down to the final months of the five-year plan to get rid of veteran homelessness.

Here at DRMM, we offer transitional housing for homeless veterans and help them work through substance abuse, mental health, and debt issues. We also partner with the Detroit Training Center to provide free job training. Afterwards, we assist them in finding jobs. Steady employment is the only way they can get on the path to financial independence.

We provide what we can at DRMM to help restore dignity and self-respect to our veterans. They are heroes who absolutely deserve it.

Dr. Chad Audi

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Treat the Homeless with Dignity & Respect

by Dr. Chad Audi

By now, you’ve probably read about or seen the disturbing video showing a Florida police officer tossing peanuts at a homeless man who is handcuffed and intoxicated, while awaiting booking at the Sarasota County Jail. The officer also reportedly gave a series of “dog commands” to the man. Several sheriff’s deputies and the officer laugh at the man as his mouth misses the nuts and he struggles to eat them off the floor.

The video is disgusting and shows how the homeless are often looked upon as second- class citizens. In this case, the men sworn to protect the public have resorted to cruelty and disrespect in their treatment of this man.

Here at the Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries (DRMM), we are all about preserving the dignity of the homeless people we serve, as we minister to their body and spirit. Although the demand for our services is very high, DRMM has to find a way to meet our clients’ needs and maintain their self-respect. No one goes to sleep hungry or is forced to stay out in the winter cold or the summer heat.

The homeless are human beings, just like you and me. The majority don’t want to be homeless. Negative life circumstances are to blame, such as a job layoff, serious medical condition, addiction, or the inability to keep current with the rent. The homeless are good people who had bad things happen in their lives or made bad choices.

In addition to feeding and housing the homeless, DRMM puts them on the right path again. We understand. We let them know they are appreciated and that we will always preserve their dignity and respect at all times.

Meanwhile, the Florida law enforcement officer who threw the peanuts at the homeless man like he was an animal in a zoo has been placed on leave, while the incident is being investigated.

It’s a sad day in this society when such a heartless act takes place, under any circumstances.

Dr. Chad Audi

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A Season of Thanks and Giving

by Dr. Chad Audi

What are you the most thankful for during this season of giving? Is it a roof over your head? Or family and friends who love you? Or perhaps you’re thankful for being healthy and able to make a good living.

During this holiday season, we all should be appreciative of our blessings. So many people are barely making it, and many are on the streets with nowhere to live.

Over the past few years, there has been an increased demand for our services at Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries (DRMM). This can be attributed to a variety of reasons, including the shaky economy, job layoffs, low wages, medical setbacks, and people turning to drugs and alcohol as a means of coping.

In addition, an early cold snap here in Michigan, and across the country, led to DRMM’s shelters being filled way beyond capacity for several days. We brought out extra cots for the men, women and children who came to our door to escape the unseasonably frigid temperatures.

Although we’ve had an increased stream of clients, we are thankful to God and to our supporters for helping us provide for those in need. Because of our donors’ generosity, DRMM is able to feed thousands of people on Thanksgiving and Christmas. They receive hearty, holiday meals. Plus, we are able to provide hundreds of less fortunate children with toys and gifts to make their holidays happier. We make sure they can celebrate like everybody else.

DRMM counts on the generosity and prayers of others to support us in many ways. Whether it’s donating money or items, providing in-kind services or volunteering, everybody can make a difference and help those who need it most.

Make giving a part of your life, not just during the holidays, but all of the time.
Blessed are the givers, and grateful are the receivers.
“He that hath a bountiful eye shall be blessed; for he giveth of his bread to the poor.”  (Proverbs 22: 9 KJV)

Dr. Chad Audi

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Putting our Veterans First

by Dr. Chad Audi

This month is set aside to remember our nation’s veterans and salute them for the major sacrifices they have made for our freedom. Yet, too many of our veterans find it difficult to adjust to civilian life when they return home from military service.

They need help coping with issues such as substance abuse, alcoholism, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), unemployment, homelessness, and crime. The most recent national statistics show that as many as one in ten inmates have served in the military. And, the Department of Veterans Affairs says about 20% of veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan suffer from PTSD.

We just received good news here at Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries (DRMM) in our efforts to help our military heroes. DTE Energy Foundation announced a $25,000 grant to support our programs for veterans and teen moms. We house veterans at one of our facilities and assist them in getting permanent housing and acquiring marketable job skills. We also provide medical care, addiction treatment, and counseling to help veterans achieve sobriety and recover emotionally from the disturbing sights and sounds of war.

Our veterans need help returning stability to their lives.
They didn’t turn their backs on us when it came to fighting for our rights and wellbeing. Now, we must not turn our backs on them.

It’s the least we can do for our nation’s heroes.

Dr. Chad Audi

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Housing the Homeless

by Dr. Chad Audi

Winter is just around the corner, and I can’t help but think back to last winter and the harsh weather conditions we experienced. Extended periods of frigid temperatures and snowstorms paralyzed much of the country. It was truly a winter unlike any we’ve seen in a while.

Here at the Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries (DRMM), our shelters were filled beyond capacity as the homeless sought refuge from the severe winter blast. If the next few months are anything like that again, I am sure we will witness the same reaction from the area’s homeless. And, who can blame them?

In the meantime, a 2010 federal strategic plan designed to prevent and end homelessness is showing some progress in getting the homeless off the street. The comprehensive Opening Doors strategy developed by the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness aims to end veterans and chronic homelessness by 2015, and to end homelessness among families, children and youth by 2020.

Opening Doors centers around an idea called “Housing First,” which focuses on finding permanent housing immediately for the homeless. Putting a roof over their heads is considered priority one. Once they are properly housed, then the focus shifts to addressing their personal issues, such as substance abuse, mental health treatment, or unemployment.

While I applaud any effort that gets us closer to wiping out homelessness, DRMM is a firm believer in first treating the whole person who comes to us for help. Only after the addiction has been overcome or new job skills are learned to make them employable again or God becomes an integral part of their lives, can the formerly homeless maintain hope and become productive citizens on a permanent basis.

Without a doubt, the path to ending homelessness must engage a combination of housing, healthcare, education, job training, and other human service programs.

Meanwhile, DRMM awaits the winter weather — prepared to shelter all who come to our doors seeking a safe and warm haven from the cold.

Dr. Chad Audi

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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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