Tag Archives: disadvantaged

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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Homeless for the Holidays

by Dr. Chad Audi

The holiday season is here once again. As families gather to share meals, gifts and holiday cheer, we all need to remember the people who have no one and nowhere to go. For them, the holidays are just another day. Another day struggling to survive. And another day wondering where their next meal will come from.

For the homeless, the holidays are a lonely time. Most don’t want to be on the streets. They ended up there through unfortunate circumstances or by making wrong decisions. However, they long to return to a home and job, and they want to be reunited with their families. But it can be difficult to gather the strength and confidence to seek help to turn around their lives. This undertaking is too monumental to achieve alone.

Through the kindness and generosity of our donors and supporters, Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries (DRMM) is able to give help and hope to the hungry, hurting and homeless during the holiday season and year round.

We’re particularly happy that we could make the holidays brighter for a homeless Detroit couple who had turned their four children over to Child Protective Services, rather than subject them to a cold existence of living and sleeping in their car. One child suffers from severe asthma; another is autistic.

DRMM is providing the family with a new home — rent-free, furnished and stocked with food for the holidays. Based on their new housing situation, I reached out to the courts to request that a hearing be held in time to return custody of the children to the parents prior to Christmas. You can read the full story by clicking here.

As you celebrate this joyous Christmas season, think about those who don’t have a roof over their heads. Say a prayer for them and recognize the healing power of “giving” on Christmas Day.

Dr. Chad Audi

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Bringing Awareness to Hunger & Homelessness

by Dr. Chad Audi

From now until the end of the year, a lot of attention will be placed on America’s homeless population. The nation is wrapping up a five-year plan to end veteran homelessness. Plus, the week before Thanksgiving is known as National Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Week.

That week, November 14-22, is a time to shed light on the issues of hunger and homelessness. It comes at a time of the year when most Americans are thinking about the things for which they are thankful. Undoubtedly, among the top things to be thankful for is having food on the table and a roof over your head. Just think, on any given night there are more than 578,000 people in this country who don’t have these basic necessities of life.

Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries (DRMM) understands that we all are only one or two paychecks away from being homeless or hungry. Many poor people are at a high risk of becoming homeless, because they can’t afford housing.

As the temperatures start to fall, DRMM is preparing for the usual increase in the number of homeless coming to our doors for shelter from the cold. Most are scared, hungry, and short on hope. We give them food, a hot shower, clothing, and a reason to hope.

So, what can YOU do during National Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Week? Organize a drive to collect money, food, toiletries, blankets, hats and socks for your local homeless shelters. Hold a prayer vigil that calls attention to the plight of the homeless. Volunteer your time at an agency that helps the homeless — and bring your friends and family members. Or, exercise your political power and write to your legislators to advocate for policy solutions to poverty and homelessness.

by Dr. Chad Audi

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Poverty Remains Unchanged

by Dr. Chad Audi

The new U.S. Census Bureau report on poverty in America was neither encouraging nor discouraging. Statistics show the country’s median income and poverty rate in 2014 remained the same as the previous year.

If you’re a “glass half full” kind of person, the numbers are good news. But if you look at things through a “glass half empty” perspective, the report isn’t particularly positive.

Here in Detroit, where I operate Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries (DRMM), the news was especially disheartening. We were rated as the most impoverished major city in America with 39.3-percent living below the poverty line of $24,008 for a family of four.

DRMM and other organizations that assist the homeless and disadvantaged can pretty much predict the annual numbers by the amount of people we service. The Census numbers indicate the nation’s middle class and poor didn’t see any extra money last year. In other words, the economic recovery has not touched the needy.

Here at DRMM, we still see working families come in for a free dinner. Their paychecks don’t always stretch to cover a daily, balanced meal. We still provide basic needs and career training services for laid off workers who can’t make ends meet. And, we still find our shelters filled past capacity on many nights.

Addressing the needs of this country’s poor and hungry is one of the top issues that should dominate the agenda for next year’s presidential candidates. A group of 100 faith-based organizations calling themselves “Circle of Protection” has asked each candidate to create a short video outlining their plans for helping the disadvantaged. You can view the videos here.

I hope that you will show compassion toward the poor, just as God commanded that we give generously to the needy and speak on their behalf.

Dr. Chad Audi

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Reaping the Harvest of a New Season

by Dr. Chad Audi

Ready or not, we are about to experience a change in the seasons. Children are going back to school. Families are taking their last summer vacation. And soon, the leaves on the trees will change to a brilliant red and orange. All of these are sure signs of fall.

Autumn is associated with the harvest — a time when things planted are gathered. The Bible says God stands in control of the harvest time; it is part of His work. Luke 10:2 reads, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”

Here at the Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries (DRMM), we are laborers standing ready to gather the harvest and share it with the homeless, poverty-stricken and disadvantaged that come to our doors for help. The harvest that we provide for these individuals and families includes food, knowledge, education, job training, and the love of God.

Additionally, DRMM offers a harvest of hope to our clients. They can get a second chance. They can turn around their lives. And, they can be reunited with their loved ones. Hope abounds throughout Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries.

You, too, can reap a harvest by giving to the less fortunate. Visit your local rescue mission or homeless shelter and donate money, goods and products, or your time and expertise. Proverbs 19:17 says, “Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and He will repay him for his deed.”

Make this the season to harvest your rich rewards.

 

Dr. Chad Audi

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Homeless Jesus

by Dr. Chad Audi

A 7-foot bronze sculpture depicting Jesus as a homeless man huddled under a blanket on a park bench is stirring up controversy around the world. The statue is identifiable as Jesus only by the crucifixion wounds on his feet. The sculptor, Timothy Schmalz, has installed casts in the U.S., Canada and Europe. And now it could be coming to my home of Detroit.

An anonymous donor who grew up in a Detroit suburb is contributing the $32,000 needed to have the statue installed. But the reactions are mixed.

While Pope Francis calls it a “beautiful and excellent” representation of Jesus, others say it demeans Jesus. And yet others have mistaken the statue for a homeless person and alerted police.

The artist says the sculpture is meant as a call to action among Christians. He sees it as a way to inspire people to help those in need. In fact, people have been leaving money, food and other items for the homeless at the statue outside a church in Buffalo, New York.

So, should we welcome the so-called “Homeless Jesus” as a sign of the hunger and despair faced by hundreds of thousands of people across the globe? Is the sculpture a means of confronting homelessness and drawing attention to the plight of the homeless?

Well, let’s start by asking “What would Jesus think?”

We know that Jesus showed his concern for the homeless and poor. He talked about feeding the hungry and caring for the needy. Matthew 25:45 reads, “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’ ”

Jesus himself spent much of his life as a homeless person. He was a homeless baby, born in a stable. Later, during His public ministry, He didn’t have a permanent place to call home. And, when he was crucified, he was stripped of everything — home, clothing and possessions.

Here at Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries (DRMM), we provide services to more than 1,400 homeless and needy people every day. One could argue that the donor’s generous contribution could have been put to better use at the many non-profit organizations in the Detroit area like ours that provide a multitude of services to the homeless, hungry and disadvantaged.

But one thing is for sure, the “Homeless Jesus” sculpture is guaranteed to make you stop and think. Let me know your thoughts.

by Dr. Chad Audi

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106 Years of Helping the Homeless

by Dr. Chad Audi

Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries (DRMM) celebrated its 106th anniversary over the weekend. We spent it doing what we do best — helping the homeless. The frigid temperatures in the Detroit-area made it dangerous for anyone to spend time outside, so DRMM staff and volunteers were out on the street looking for the homeless who were trying to survive on the streets. In addition to looking for the homeless on the streets, we asked the public to call us if they saw anyone in need of a warm place to go.

Ironically, Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries was founded on Valentine’s Day — a day traditionally set aside to show acts of love and caring. And, that’s what we did. We presented a universal sign of love – the rose – to the homeless individuals to show that we cared and were concerned about them. This act of kindness made the homeless feel appreciated and made it easier to initiate a conversation with them. We were able to take them off the cold streets and transport them to our shelters.

Our flagship facility on Third Street in Detroit was overflowing with men seeking an escape from the below-zero wind chill and craving a hot cup of coffee or cocoa. Although our shelter has about 70 beds, we had to make accommodations for more than 100 men who came in out of the cold.

The Detroit Rescue Mission has always been a place of refuge for the homeless and hopeless. The mission opened in 1909 as a place where the disadvantaged could receive food and fellowship. It was the brainchild of David C. Stucky, a minister who saw to it that the hungry were fed and those new to Detroit had shelter, jobs and clothing.

Over the years, we have grown to offer services that meet the changing needs of the community, whether it’s substance abuse treatment, rebuilding career skills or having a place to live while working or attending school. Every day, more than 1,400 people are serviced through DRMM, and 3,500 meals are served to the hungry.

We are a faith-based agency devoted to meeting the basic needs of humanity, while motivating individuals to rebuild their lives.

Today, I want to thank the many DRMM volunteers and workers who braved the cold to let the homeless know that someone cared about them on this Valentine’s Day 2015 — the 106th birthday of Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries.
Dr. Chad Audi

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